Maryland Senate Votes to Decriminalize Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana




March 19, 2013: The Maryland Senate voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana Tuesday.

Under the new bill, anyone caught with up to 10 grams (the equivalent of two joints) would receive a citation and a $100 fine instead of being charged with a crime, reported News4's Chris Gordon.

The State Senate passed the measure 30-16, with the yes vote extending to some Republicans. Among them: Sen. Nancy Jacobs (R - District 34), whose husband has cancer.

Jacobs noted that if she needed or wanted to buy a small amount of marijuana for her husband, she would want to be able to do that, Gordon reported.

However, the bill passed Tuesday is not a medical marijuana bill. Three different bills are currently wending their way through Maryland's state legislature. This is the first to be passed. Another involves the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes; the last is the complete decriminalization of marijuana, which probably won't pass this year -- but may ultimately have a chance.

The bill approved Tuesday will now go to the House, where it may face some opposition, but is likely to pass, Gordon said. - nbc


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