A measure to decriminalize cannabis possession has passed through the Maryland House of Representatives in a decisive vote. The proposal would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis.
Earlier this month Maryland’s Senate voted to approve the same measure, though the measure will go back to the Senate for one final vote given it was amended in the House Judiciary Committee. The House version, as with the Senate version, would make the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis a $100 ticket. However, the House version would make a second offense $250, and subsequent offenses $500; it would also call for drug rehab for those under 21.
Floor amendments were introduced to retain a misdemeanor conviction for those consuming in public, to reduce the possession limit to 5 grams, to double the fines and to retain criminal penalties for minors; all four were rejected.
Once approve by the Senate – which is expected Monday – the measure will go to Maryland’s governor for consideration.