Mar 12, 2020
10 grams, arrests, cannabis possession, civil fine, criminal charges, criminal penalty, decrim, decriminalization expansion, fine, HB 550, jail time, legalization, Maryland, Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition, Maryland House, Maryland Senate, MD, possession with intent to distribute
Exciting news! Yesterday, the House of Delegates approved (93-44) a bill that would increase the amount of cannabis decriminalized in Maryland from 10 grams to one ounce. It now heads to the Senate.
Contact your senator today and ask them to support HB 550!
The bill — HB 550 — would make possession of up to an ounce of cannabis punishable by a civil fine of $100 rather than a criminal penalty that carries possible jail time. Also, a person could no longer be charged with possession with intent to distribute based solely on possession of an ounce or less.
At just 10 grams, Maryland currently has one of the lowest thresholds for possession of any of the 26 states that has decriminalized or legalized cannabis. Most states have decriminalized or legalized up to one ounce, and several states have decriminalized larger amounts.
This is an important reform that will reduce the number of arrests and criminal charges for marijuana possession. Arrests for simple possession can be traumatic, and a criminal conviction can hinder one’s ability to obtain a job, housing, or a college education.
While the legalization workgroup did not recommend moving forward with legalization this year, help us make sure this important reform is achieved in the meantime.
Please take a minute to email your senator and ask them to support HB 550. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Maryland and encourage them to do the same.