Maryland Legislature Passes Bill Decriminalizing Pot Paraphernalia

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(Photocredit: Hemp.org)

A new bill passed the Maryland House and Senate that decriminalizes marijuana smoking devices like pipes and smoking devices. The new law builds on last year’s successful effort to decriminalize marijuana.

The bill’s chief sponsor in the MD Senate, Senator Bobby Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, described the bill as necessary to “clean up” the pot decriminalization bill, bringing the law on the drug and paraphernalia into harmony.

“We made the possession of marijuana a civil offense, but the hardware used with it is still criminal, so you had this disjointed law that didn’t make any sense,” he said, according the The Baltimore Sun. 

It is good to see that Maryland, at least many in Maryland, is trying hard to see the end of pot prohibition and all its most burdensome constituent laws repealed or severely lessened.

Now that a majority of respondents polled support legalization, the opportunity costs for politicians supporting sane, libertarianish policies toward the drug are being reduced.

Not content to stop there, another bill that increases the amount of marijuana possession it takes to trigger civil penalties from 10 grams to 20 grams has been proposed. This time from Assembly Delegate Curt Anderson, also from Baltimore City County.

Zirkin, according to The Sun, is not content with that increase. He would like to see it up’d to 1 ounce.”Ten grams does not make any sense,” said Zirkin on the proposal. “It’s a very arbitrary number that’s hard for the police to decipher.”

I absolutely agree with the senator, but obviously we at the Forgotten Beard generally support full legalization in a minimally-regulated market for adults. We also understand that this is going to take time, and the recently passed legislation is strong step forward that is to be commended. And it is good to see that Maryland is yet another state where the war on marijuana is coming to a close.

Republican Governor Larry Hogan has not yet initiated a statement on whether he intends to the sign the bill into law or not.

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