Apr 122012
 April 12, 2012

Maryland marijuanaMarijuana Reform Bills Pass in Maryland

by Phillip Smith

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned Monday night, but not before passing two bills that lighten up on marijuana possession. One bill, House Bill 350, reduces the penalty for possession of small amounts; the other, Senate Bill 422, makes marijuana possession a citeable offense.

Sponsored by Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore) in the House and Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) in the Senate, HB 350, lowers the penalty for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana from up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine to up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The bill originally would have reduced the penalty for possession of up to 14 grams (a half ounce), but was amended in the House to only seven grams. The 10 gram limit was a compromise reached in conference committee. The final version of the bill passed the House 91-32 and the Senate 40-5.

Introduced by Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery County), SB 422 was written in response to a state court of appeals ruling that arrestees had a statutory right to counsel and a Public Defender analysis that the ruling would cost the state $28 million. The bill repeals the requirement and makes marijuana possession an offense chargeable by citation, meaning an officer can arrest someone for pot possession, but cannot jail him. The final version of the bill passed the House 81-58 and the Senate 45-0.

Both bills are now before Gov. Martin O’Malley and are awaiting his signature.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.orgCreative Commons

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About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
  • http://www.facebook.com/ricardo.colon2 Ricardo Colon

    Big deal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ricardo.colon2 Ricardo Colon

    Big deal what a joke.