ANNAPOLIS, Md. (DC News Now) — A nonprofit group in Maryland is celebrating cannabis legalization by giving away 30,000 viable cannabis seeds.
The seeds will be handed off from D.C. to Maryland at the Chevy Chase Circle where D.C. borders Maryland at one minute past midnight on July 1.
The seeds will then be handed out to adults ages 21 and up starting at ‘high noon’ from 13 volunteer-run locations throughout Maryland.
The program is called ‘Question 4 Seed Score’ referencing the Question 4 referendum that voters successfully voted into law. The referendum allows Maryland residents 21 and over to grow cannabis plants at home for personal use.
The group responsible, Maryland Marijuana Justice (MDMJ), voiced concern about the new law, in spite of its benefits. The new law will only allow citizens to grow two plants at a time; Four plants if they are medical cannabis patients.
“Is cannabis really legal if growing more than two plants will result in three years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine?,” asked Nekeidra Cromwell, an MDMJ volunteer, “This policy only benefits the few cannabis companies permitted to grow and sell a product consumers can produce at home for themselves – shouldn’t my rights as a citizen and consumer come before the state-sponsored oligopoly?”
“Two to four plants are simply inadequate for people who consume an average amount of cannabis,” said Steve Ellmore, a Prince George’s County resident, founder of The Unprescribed, and an MDMJ volunteer. “Plants have a life cycle from seed to vegetation to flower. If a plant fails, you have to start the whole process over, leaving patients without medicine for several months.”
The group argued that the new legislation would create a two-tiered system. Licensed growers can produce as much cannabis as they want, while private citizens and even medical patients are limited.
“Maryland must not impose criminal penalties that restrict personal freedoms without sufficient public health or public safety justification. Allowing adults to produce their own cannabis at home for non-commercial purposes poses no social risk that warrants criminal prosecution,” said Eric E. Sterling, resident of Montgomery County and recently retired founding Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation.
MDMJ said it was dedicated to fighting for cannabis consumers in Maryland and supports full legalization.