The Maryland Senate today overwhelmingly approved a marijuana decriminalization bill with bipartisan support. It now heads to the House of Delegates.
The bill is Senate Bill 364, sponsored by Sen. Robert Zirkin (D-Montgomery County). It would replace criminal penalties for the possession of 10 grams of marijuana with a civil fine of up to $100. That should help in Maryland, which has the fourth-highest arrest rate per capita for marijuana possession.
The bill’s next stop is the House Judiciary Committee, where a similar bill last year died without a vote. If you are a Maryland resident, contact your members of the House of Delegates to tell them to fight for this bill.
Kudos to the Maryland senators who did the right thing on decrim–even if they couldn’t get a legalization bill through–and to the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland and the Marijuana Policy Project for helping show them the way.