Maryland’s state legislature voted over the weekend to decriminalize possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. When Governor O’Malley signs the bill, which he said he intends to do, Maryland will join the District of Columbia and 24 other states who have legalized or decriminalized marijuana.
This is a splendid victory for marijuana law reformers! 50% of all states in the union have now lowered penalties for marijuana or in some cases removed them entirely!
Maryland didn’t go as far as Colorado or Washington in fully legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana but decriminalization is an important first step. Now when citizens of Maryland choose to use a substance that is known to be less dangerous than alcohol they will no longer be criminalized for their choice. Under the new law marijuana infractions will be treated similarly to a traffic ticket, a minor fine and no jail time.
Half of the country is on the right track to reform, all eyes are now on the remaining 25 states. If you live in a state that hasn’t decriminalized yet, please take this time to send a letter to your congressman to support ending the federal prohibition of marijuana!