Although the government is known for being slow and dressed with barriers of red tape, sometimes things can move pretty quickly through the legislative process. There are times that even the most controversial of subject matters can make those involved change their minds when the public jumps on board with certain ideas.
With this preface set, we’d like to remind you that it was only a few weeks ago that we told you about how 100 or so people stood outside of the State House in Annapolis, Maryland rallying for legalization or decriminalization of marijuana. At the time, a couple of bills had just been introduced into legislation, and few people probably expected things to go quite as quickly as they did.
Last month, Maryland’s Senate gave the go-ahead for decriminalization that was dictated by a $100 fine for offenders and a required entrance into a drug treatment facility for third-time offenders. Today, the Senate had an official vote, resulting in a 34-to-8 final count of imposing civil fines for marijuana offenses rather than sending the offenders through the criminal court system for people caught with less than ten grams of the plant. This change in legislation was given to the Senate after the House approved the measure just a couple days ago. That approval was granted in a 78-to-55 vote in favor of decriminalization.
What happens next? The bill will land itself on the desk of Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley, and, as The Washington Post reported, he plans to sign it.
What do you think of Maryland’s decriminalization? Talk about it using the ‘Comments’ section below.