Lawmakers in Maryland put the finishing touches on two marijuana reform bills this week.
One of the bills will fix multiple problems found within the medical marijuana law established in 2013; for instance, patients are not allowed to cultivate their own marijuana and must obtain marijuana from only sanctioned hospitals. While the second bill will decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana regardless of whether or not you are a state recognized patient.
The senate vote passed the second bill with a count of 34 to 8, which would enact a fine of $100 for possession of under 10 grams of marijuana. This fine would increase with each additional ticket received.
Governor Martin O’Malley who was previously hesitant about signing the bill into effect has recently stated that he will in fact sign the bill. O’Malley stated on Monday “The General Assembly has decided after much consideration and with clear majorities in both Chambers to send to my desk a bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and I plan to sign it.” O’Malley hopes that by signing this bill, Washington D.C. will shift its focus to more serious matters like public safety.