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Marylanders voting in the November 8, 2022, election were presented with ballots that included five proposed constitutional amendments.  Specifically, they were asked to determine whether: 

  1. the Maryland Court of Appeals should be renamed the Supreme Court of Maryland, 
  2. the jurisdictional requirement for the right to demand a jury trial should be increased from $15,000 to $25,000, 
  3. the residency requirement for Maryland legislators should be modified to require candidates to “maintain a primary place of abode” in their prospective district, 
  4. judges in Howard County’s Circuit Court should take over the role of the orphans’ court or probate court, and 
  5. Cannabis use should be legal for individuals who are 21 or older. 

When Do The Amendments Go Into Effect?

All five measures passed, which among other things, inspires the question of when the amendments will go into effect. Per Article XIV of the Constitution of Maryland, after the election, the certified votes will be sent to the Governor. If the Governor finds that the majority of the votes are in favor of one or more amendments, they will declare that said amendment or amendments were adopted by the people of Maryland and, therefore, will become part of the Constitution. There is no set timeframe for when such a declaration will be issued, but it typically occurs around the start of the new year. 

The legalization of cannabis and residency requirement for legislators ballot measures expressly state when the proposed amendment will become law. The remaining measures did not include effective dates or any indication that they would be applied retroactively. As such, they will go into effect at the time of the Governor’s proclamation.

Changes to the Jurisdictional Threshold

The amendment will go into effect when the Governor makes his proclamation. The ballot measure did not indicate the amendment would be retroactive. As such, it is presumed that this means that any lawsuit filed after the Governor’s proclamation will be held to the $25,000 jurisdictional limit, but if the damages in a case filed before the proclamation fall below that threshold, it would not be subject to remand.  

Renaming of the Court of Appeals

The amendment will go into effect when the Governor makes his proclamation.

Residency Requirement for Legislators

Per the text of the ballot question, the residency requirement for legislators goes into effect on January 1, 2024.

Legalization of Cannabis Use

Per the text of the ballot question, cannabis use will be legal for people who are at least 21 years old on July 1, 2023. 

Howard County’s Circuit Court’s Adoption of the Orphans Court or Probate Court Role

The amendment will go into effect when the Governor makes his proclamation.