Are some types of drug paraphernalia legal in Maryland?

Are some types of drug paraphernalia legal in Maryland?

Earlier this year, the Maryland Senate voted to give final approval to a legislative bill that will make drug paraphernalia legal. It also will make the amount of marijuana that is subject to civil penalties twice what it was before.

The vote was 44 to 3 in favor of the amended version, which now returns House Bill 105 to the House of Delegates. The bill received the support of police department, marijuana advocates and the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association.

Drug paraphernalia such as rolling papers will be legalized with the final passage of the bill; however, possession of marijuana over 20 grams will still be a criminal offense.

The bill will have its opposition in the House. One of the opposition votes in the Senate was from Sen. Brian Feldman. He wanted to amend part of the bill that made smoking pot in a public place a civil citation, seeking instead to have it made a misdemeanor charge. This amendment was barely defeated by a vote of 22 to 24.

Sen. Zirkin, however, said, “just because these are things that are decriminalized doesn’t mean we want to see (them in public.) Certainly, we don’t want to see people smoking (marijuana) at parks where children are around.”

Another senator, Cheryl Kagan, wanted to have edibles removed from House Bill 105. That amendment was soundly defeated by a vote of 3 to 44.

If you have been charged with drug paraphernalia, it’s important that you understand your rights. While this bill may not be a law yet as it still must get approval by the House and Senate, your attorney may be able to use its passage to your benefit — perhaps as it pertains to sentencing. An attorney experienced in drug charges can provide further information on drug paraphernalia defense strategies.

Source: State Senator Bobby Zirkin, “MD. Senate approves marijuana paraphernalia bill,” Bryan P. Sears, accessed Aug. 11, 2015

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