War on Drugs

Maryland Considers Marijuana Decriminalization

Takes a toke off a national trend


The Maryland Senate on Monday is scheduled to vote on legislation that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and reduce the fine to a maximum of $100.

If the bill passes, as expected, it would face review by the House of Delegates, where members have raised concerns about a push to place Maryland among the two dozen states changing their marijuana laws.

The House also is considering a measure that would legalize medical marijuana. The measure has support from Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). But with the governor's gun-control package scheduled for House votes next week, the chamber may not act on the medical marijuana bill before a March 25 deadline to send it to the Senate.