House to vote on marijuana decriminalization bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland House committee has approved a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The full House chamber will vote on the bill after 3:30 p.m. Saturday. It would eliminate criminal charges for possessing small amounts of marijuana and reduce the offense to the severity of a traffic violation.

The Senate has already approved a similar measure.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 13-8 Saturday on a compromise version of the Senate's plan. The Senate had proposed a $100 penalty for every offense. The House bill raises the penalties to $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense.

The House version also mandates drug treatment and education for offenders under age 21.


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