News Flash: Laws on marijuana to go in affect in October


Chioma Iheoma, Opinion Editor

The Maryland Senate passed legislation to decriminalize the use of possession of marijuana on March 19. The bill aims to remove criminal penalties for the use and possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia for those over the age of 21. The bill also legalizes the possession, sale, and farming of marijuana under specific situations. If passed by the Maryland General Assembly, the bill will become effective Oct. 1 of this year.

Maryland legislators approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes on April 8. Patients who need medical marijuana can receive it from academic medical centers. Governor Martin O’Malley needs only to sign the bill into law and has said that he will do so.

The decriminalization of marijuana will allow the cultivation of marijuana to be permitted and regulated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture and taxed to increase state revenue.

In order to be arrested, an individual must be under 21 or be found with over one ounce of marijuana and/or growing more than three marijuana plants. The penalty for the use or possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is a fine no higher than $500 and imprisonment no higher than 90 days.

The typical laws that apply to alcohol apply to marijuana. Marijuana cannot be sold to those under the age of 21 and those under 21 cannot be present in rooms where it’s sold or stored.

Chioma Iheoma is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and