Two Marijuana Policy Reform Bills Pass in Maryland

Apr 10, 2012 , , , , , , ,

The clock ran out on Maryland legislators last night. A bill to give medical marijuana caregivers an affirmative defense against charges of possession was collateral damage as legislators spent the evening trying and failing to reach a budget compromise. It wasn’t a total loss though — two good bills did pass. Here’s MPP’s summary of marijuana policy reform developments in the 2012 session of Maryland’s General Assembly.

The two bills that passed are SB 422 and SB 350. The former requires charging certain minor offenses, including marijuana possession, by citation, meaning marijuana users can be arrested (though it’s not required) but won’t be spending the night or the weekend in jail. The latter reduces the maximum penalty for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana from one year in jail to 90 days and the maximum fine from $1,000 to $500. Here again is the full summary.

 It is unfortunate that Gov. O’Malley essentially put a stop to the original medical marijuana bill we were working toward this year, which would have  protected patients and caregivers from arrest and established a system to ensure safe access. Still, this is certainly a step in the right direction, and it is only a matter of time before we pass a truly effective medical marijuana bill in Maryland.

7 responses to “Two Marijuana Policy Reform Bills Pass in Maryland”

  1. Baby steps. Politicians will always act to appease the majority, that’s their job & most likely route to re-election. The United Police States of America will retain the easy prison fillin’ policies that have snared so many nonviolent drug users & kept the jailhouse business booming in the “Land of the Free”.
    Fight for the U.S. Constitution & organize & VOTE!

  2. I have a medical mj card in MI & I fell asleep while driving due to stress and sleep disorder. Because I had four (4) beers in a 7 hour period & a medical mj card and stash, the officer lied and said I was not corroporating was his defense why I was not offered a breath test and demanded blood. As a christian, it is against my religion to give blood for persucution which is considered resisting an officer of crapp. Facing two years imprisonment, I plead bargain for 63 days time served and $5000 in fines. I wrote the judge while in jail regarding my consern for my caregiver activities and 18 mature plants at home. It was smelling up a 3-6 block radious cuz i didn’t get my charcoal filters installed. I asked that the judge to board up the house to prevent theft. The judge didn’t and my home was robbed. Goes to show that the law doesnt care who gets their hands on my stash. Jails dont and refuse to provide any medications to people with PTSD. The heck with you vets and special priviliages to special jails becaused you so called served the country. My quality of life sucks and medical marijuana makes it a little bareable. The next time I run into the law and they want to make a wrongful conviction and lie, As the saying goes, it’s all balls out. Im taking your gun, ending my life and sending you to the planet called hell. I say it that way because they obviously don’t believe in God & heaven. I think its crapp that they dont have to say anymore, “Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god.” And for the cop in Racine WI whomed “prays” to the court, you dont have a chance in heaven. Even ran into an ex-racine cop who quit because of the lieing officers he worked with. Peace In and may God’s Weed be with you

  3. Way to go this does not protect patients at all… Just another half ass O’Malley move to make the populous believe he is pro MMJ for next electoral votes. The sick are still suffering, there are many in the state that benefit greatly from MMJ. Including my own mother with MS who was dragged up two flights of stairs while having a MS attack because her house was being raided, thinking she was protected by the 2003 law. Why do you even sign an pass these laws when all Maryland judges say you can’t claim medicinal use in the state of Maryland. Don’t you realize you are messing with peoples lives… Maybe when your laying on your death bed and you comprehend that this plant that just grows out of the ground can make you not feel the pain anymore, might then make sense to you cause it all of a sudden is effecting your life. O’Malley is toxic to Maryland’s well being, the sooner he is out of office the better we all are. Wish he could feel the pain that these people are going through. He has known about the flaws in the 2003 bill ever sense it was passed, why does he still allow Maryland’s citizens who are sick and ill to be at risk of prosecution. I think MMJ community has been very fair and straight forward in there legislative actions to support the progression of MMJ reform in this fine state. But there governor seems to be not listening to the voice of the people. Maybe it is time for more DIRECT actions, Occupy 420.

    Please help Richard Lee’s petition against President Obama:

  4. I am the caregiver to two people who gain a lot with medical marijuana. The first my husband who has advance progressive MS and the second our son who has severe schizophrinia is maxed out on all the phyco chemical medication per his State of Maryland Psychiatrist it is his only saving grace it helps him and they both need the medicial marijuana just to get by daily.

  5. The government is only allowing medical marijuana because they dont want to provide treatment in jail to the sick and dieing for a marijuana charge.

  6. I don’t know why they don’t listen to the people. So we need to vote politicians that will vote our way. We all live in pain and mmj helps with the pain, so we can get through the day. There shouldn’t be any jail time or fines for people that are sick or dieing.

  7. At this point its a waiting game. The well informed youth will one day replace their misinformed parents. Remember less the 50 years ago the united states locked up the mentally hadicapped with rapest and murderers.

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