MARYLAND: Maryland is set to become the latest state to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession.
Beginning Wednesday, Maryland will join 17 other states and Washington, D.C. that have decriminalized or legalized marijuana possession. In addition, Missouri passed a similar bill this year, which will make it the 19th state to do so when it goes into effect.
“Decriminalizing possession of marijuana is a key step on the road to saner drug policy in Maryland,” said Sara Love, public policy director for the ACLU of Maryland, in a statement. “For too long, tens of thousands of Marylanders, disproportionately Black Marylanders, have faced life-altering criminal penalties simply for possessing a substance most voters believe should be legalized. Going forward, we hope that legislators will seriously consider sensible legislation to regulate and tax marijuana.”
According to state law, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana will now be a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a first offense, up to $250 for a second offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses.