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Maryland Governor to Sign Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

April 08, 2014  | 

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said Monday that he will sign a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, reports the Washington Post.

On a 34-to-8 vote, the Senate gave final approval to the legislation Monday afternoon. The bill would impose only civil fines, rather than criminal sanctions, on those caught with less than 10 grams of the drug.

At least 24 other states now have either decriminalized the use of marijuana, approved it for medicinal purposes or legalized it outright, according to a study by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

"As a young prosecutor, I once thought that decriminalizing the possession of marijuana might undermine the public will necessary to combat drug violence and improve public safety," O'Malley said in a statement. "I now think that [it] is an acknowledgment of the low priority that our courts, our prosecutors, our police and the vast majority of citizens already attach to this transgression of public order and public health."

Tags: Drug Decriminalization, Marijuana, Maryland Laws, Maryland


Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Alorue @ 4/8/2014 3:41 PM

Gov. O'Malley needs to get out of the office and see what happens in the streets. Kids start out smoking a little weed and pretty soon they can't hold a job or have a productive life. They wind up in the system. They only cost us more and more money to support them (either in jail or out).

The Gov's comments only show that he is living in a dream world. The only reason possession of Marijuana is a "low priority", is because it is a very common charge. This is the wrong message to send to our youth or the voters. L.E.O.'s gave testimony at hearings, but I guess it fell on deaf ears. Such a shame.

Alorue @ 4/8/2014 3:41 PM

Gov. O'Malley needs to get out of the office and see what happens in the streets. Kids start out smoking a little weed and pretty soon they can't hold a job or have a productive life. They wind up in the system. They only cost us more and more money to support them (either in jail or out).

The Gov's comments only show that he is living in a dream world. The only reason possession of Marijuana is a "low priority", is because it is a very common charge. This is the wrong message to send to our youth or the voters. L.E.O.'s gave testimony at hearings, but I guess it fell on deaf ears. Such a shame.

Mikey @ 4/8/2014 5:14 PM

Okay, are we going to get little scales to carry around so that we can measure the amount someone has on them? Who do they pay the fine to? If they dont pay I bet a warrant will follow for failure to pay the fine. Opps, now we have a record. I bet no one has thought of as how we are going to work with this new change. Brought to you by the same folks who spent 125 million on a health care site that failed

TheRookie @ 4/9/2014 4:55 PM

Great job again O'Malley. Like Colorado you make legal firearms illegal, let the gang bangers run the jail9S0, and now make drugs legal. What a proud politician you must feel to be.

Ima Leprechaun @ 4/13/2014 3:28 PM

Personally, I don't really care about marihuana. I don't think it is anymore dangerous than alcohol if used in the privacy of ones own home and in moderation. I never tried it and I found out while working as an evidence officer I am allergic to it so I won't be trying it anytime soon. As more and more places legalize pot people will begin to see dangerous allergic reactions to this drug and that is something we need to get out ahead of. For me just sitting next to someone "reeking of pot" causes me severe breathing problems. I reacted faster to the presence of pot than the dogs did so I had well documented medical probable cause if I had a reaction. I would rather have seen this drug used for medical purposes since in many forms it has good properties to help ill people with few to no side effects but times are a changing and I am curious to see what level they set for impaired driving. The world is getting stranger every day.

Ima Leprechaun @ 4/13/2014 3:36 PM

For the bloggers worried about enforcement I did carry a little scale for years because my state decriminalized pot way back in the 1970's. We issued what amounted to a traffic ticket for "personal consumption" pot which was an amount less than 100 grams. The ticket was a $100 fine plus court costs and did not go on any ones criminal record. But possession of "Paraphernalia" was an arrestable offense so that little pot stained alligator clip netting them some real time. We will always find a way to enforce the law through creative Law Enforcement.

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