Maryland Downgrades Marijuana Possession to Civil Offense
Español Senate Bill 364, signed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley on Monday, following its passage in Maryland’s General Assembly, reduces the penalty for possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal to a civil offense. Maryland’s Senate gave approval to the bill on April 7 in a 34-8 vote, after a 78-55 vote in the House Delegates two days before.
Fines for offenders range from US$100 to $500, and third-time offenders or offenders under 21 years of age will be evaluated for substance abuse problems. They will also have to attend drug-education classes.
O’Malley had previously expressed his opposition to legalizing Marijuana. However, earlier this month he reversed his stance, expressing his support for decriminalizing it due to the “low priority” state officials already place on marijuana arrests.
Decriminalizing possession of marijuana is an acknowledgement of the low priority our courts, prosecutors, & police attach to this issue.
— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) April 7, 2014
Source: Huffington Post.