All excitement in the Maryland chamber !
Chaos erupted on the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates late Monday night. As the seconds ticked down to the end of the 2023 session in Annapolis, Republicans staged a dramatic floor protest, calling for the House Speaker to step down.
As lawmakers approached a midnight deadline, Republican Minority members walked out over Democrats’ last-minute changes to a bill that will prevent police from searching a car if they smell marijuana.
A shouting match broke out, and one Republican called on Democratic Speaker Adrienne Jones to step down.
The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus is demanding an apology to Jones who became the first Black woman Speaker in 2019. However, while Democrats argued the GOP’s objections to the marijuana search bill came too late in the process, Republicans accuse Democrats of running out the clock to steamroll them.
The Maryland House gave final passage over the weekend to a measure that creates licensing regulations and tax rates needed to open a recreational marijuana market on July 1, after voters approved a constitutional amendment in November.
Medical cannabis stores will be able to get a dual license to sell recreational marijuana, and there will be additional licenses made available with an emphasis on equity concerns. The tax rate will be 9%.