In a story by the Associated Press and published on the Huffington Post,
a growing number of state lawmakers and state governors are jumping on
the decriminalization bandwagon when it comes to marijuana.
Most recently, as David Klepper reports, yet another state has made the
move to ease up on the penalty for
marijuana possession, while Maryland stays pretty much where it has been.
The state (Rhode Island) has passed a bill that makes possession of an
ounce or less worthy of just a $150 civil fine. Moreover, the infraction
wouldn’t go on a criminal record. The bill, before it becomes law,
simply awaits the state governor’s signature, which is likely to
In Maryland, lawmakers have begun to make some moves toward relaxing marijuana
policy, though nothing that comes close to decriminalization or legalization.
As far as medical marijuana is concerned, a person charged with possession
can try to assert the existence of a “debilitating medical condition”
as part of his or her defense, but this defense is only available in certain
And as far as non-medical marijuana is concerned (i.e. recreational use),
any amount of possession can result in jail time and relatively heavy
criminal fines (and a criminal record), which is a far cry from Rhode
Island’s recent legislative effort.