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Maryland Senate Approves Bill To Decriminalize Small Amounts Of Marijuana

March 17th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Senate has approved a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The vote was 36-8, with four Democrats and four Republicans voting against the bill. The bill reduces the penalty for possessing less than 10-grams of marijuana from 90-days in jail to a $100-civil fine. The bill would apply to offenders of any age. It would also require juvenile offenders to appear in court, where a judge could order the teen to drug treatment programs. Third time offenders would be ordered to appear in court and could be ordered to drug treatment. Money from the fines would go to fund drug treatment programs. Baltimore County Democrat Bobby Zirkin, who sponsored the bill, says the bill addresses marijuana abuse as a "medical issue not a criminal issue."


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