Maryland One Step Closer to Decriminalizing Small Amounts of Marijuana April 12 2014



The Maryland House of Delegates has voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The House voted 78-55 on Saturday for the bill. It would eliminate criminal charges for possessing less than 10 grams.

The Senate has already approved a similar measure, but changes made by the House will require Senate approval to pass the bill before the legislative session ends midnight Monday.

The Senate had proposed a $100 penalty for every offense. The House bill raises the penalties to $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense.

Nina Smith, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O'Malley, says the Democratic governor will review the bill if it passes the General Assembly.

O'Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, has expressed wariness about decriminalizing marijuana in the past.