Maryland House Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana in Surprise Turnaround
On Saturday, the Maryland House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved an amended version of the decriminalization bill. In a 78-55 vote, the House approved imposing civil fines — not criminal penalties and possible jail time — on those possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana.
The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence, before heading to Gov. Martin O’Malley. Gov. O’Malley has previously said he’s “not much in favor” of decriminalization.
Saturday's vote was the product of lots of hard work from MPP and our allies, both in the legislature and outside of it. Just a few days ago, the House Judiciary Committee gutted the decriminalization bill and replaced it with a task force that wouldn’t report back for two years. Thanks to the leadership from the Legislative Black Caucus and Del. Keiffer Mitchell, we were able to turn the tide. Many thanks to all of our supporters who emailed and called their delegates.
But our work on this long overdue reform is not done. Don’t forget to make sure you’re plugged in to our efforts by liking the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland on Facebook and following the coalition on Twitter.