How does your state measure up when it comes to establishing policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition?

Harm Reduction

Does the state permit access to clean syringes for people who inject drugs?

  • YES

Does the state have naloxone training & distribution programs available to the public at syringe exchange programs or other facilities?

  • YES

Does the state have a 911 Good Samaritan law?

  • YES

Does the state have legal methadone access?

  • YES


Are marijuana possession and use legal for medical purposes?

  • YES

What are the criminal penalties for marijuana possession?

Criminal Justice

How many people are arrested for a drug offense each year? 

  • 43,444

What are the racial disparities in arrest rates?

  • Total population (2011): 61.5% white, 30.6% black, 7.9% other.
    Drug arrests (2011): 36.2% white, 63.2% black.

What happens to people’s voting rights when they become part of the criminal justice system?

  • Voting rights restored upon completion of sentence, including prison, parole and probation.

Maryland Legislator to Introduce Groundbreaking Harm Reduction Drug Policy Bills to Reduce: Addiction, Deadly Overdose, Spread of Infectious Disease, and Incarceration Rates for Drug-Related Offenses

Proposed Bills Would Provide Treatment-at-Need in ER’s and Hospitals, Decriminalize Small Amounts of All Drugs, Set Up Safe Consumption Programs, and More

As deaths from drug overdoses increase nationwide, Maryland Delegate Dan Morhaim, M.D. - also a practicing physician who has been treating patients in emergency and internal medicine for more than 30 years - will introduce four bills to transform drug policy in the state.  This groundbreaking legislative package aims to reduce the harms associated with substance abuse disorders, including rates of addiction, deadly overdose, the spread of infectious disease, crime, costs to the general public, and incarceration rates.  (See detailed descriptions of all 4 bills below.) 


Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

Delegate Dan Morhaim, 410-841-3054 

Drug Policy Alliance to Host the Biennial 2015 International Drug Policy Reform Conference in D.C. Metro Area, November 18-21

More Than 1,200 Experts and Advocates to Strategize About Mass Incarceration, Marijuana Legalization, Criminal Justice Reform, Public Health, and Post-Prohibition Models for Drug Control


Tony Newman (646)335-5384
Tommy McDonald (510)338-8827

Budget Agreement Opens Door to Lifting Longtime Federal Ban on Funding for Syringe Access Programs

Syringe Access Proven to Significantly Cut HIV/AIDS

More Than 70 Maryland-Based Doctors and Scientists Send Letter to Senate Appropriate Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Urging Action

As Congress prepares to finalize the federal budget, more than 70 Maryland-based science and medical professionals released a letter today calling on Congress to lift the ban on federal funding for syringe access programs. The letter urges Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to use her position as Senate Appropriations Chair to lift the ban, noting that “there are few occasions when members of the medical community can unite and advocate for a public health program that costs nothing, saves taxpayer dollars, and saves lives.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Michael Collins 404-539-6437

Maryland Enacts Law Allowing Academic Studies of Medical Marijuana

New Law Unlikely to Provide Patients Access to Medicine Absent Changes in Federal Policy

Statement from Drug Policy Alliance's Amanda Reiman

Today, Maryland enacted a law allowing approved academic research institutions in that state to establish investigational, research-oriented medical marijuana studies.  Unlike 18 other states that have adopted medical marijuana laws that allow patients to obtain medical marijuana by growing it themselves or purchasing it from state-licensed businesses, Maryland’s law requires that patients obtain their medicine only from a limited number of research hospitals approved to conduct medical marijuana research.

Contact: Amanda Reiman 510-730-2811

Law Atlas map of states with Good Samaritan laws

This in an online interactive resource for visualizing the states with Good Samaritan laws.

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