April 6 - Maryland's House of Delegates passes a bill to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil citation rather than a criminal offense. Vanessa Johnston reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
Maryland lawmakers voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana on Saturday.
At present, possessing even a small amount can mean jail time.
But if the bill passed by the House of Delegates is signed into law, it will be a civil citation rather than a criminal offense. As long as it's 10 grams or less.
Maryland democratic gubernatorial candidate, Heather Mizeur, welcomes the vote.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MARYLAND DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, HEATHER MIZEUR, SAYING:
"Ninety percent of Marylanders have been very clear in survey after survey across the state that they support marijuana decriminalization, and the time to get it done is now."
Others fear it will send the wrong message, like democratic State Delegate C.T. Wilson
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MARYLAND DEMOCRATIC STATE DELEGATE C.T. WILSON SAYING:
"When you lighten up the load, lighten up the sentencing there's going to be increased demand, and unfortunately, it's going to create a lot more felons. Because it's a minor citation offense to have weed, it's going to be a felony to sell it."
While marijuana is illegal under federal law, 15 states, the District of Columbia and a handful of cities have removed the threat of arrest for possession of small amounts of it.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code