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Senate OKs fine for small amounts of marijuana

Tuesday - 3/19/2013, 4:23pm  ET

AP: 6d6f9c5a-2751-4351-9ce5-422e88e9a013
The Maryland House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on a measure to legalize limited amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

BRIAN WITTE
Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Maryland Senate has voted to eliminate potential jail time for people who possess less than 10 grams of marijuana.

The Senate voted 30-16 on Tuesday for the measure, which would fine people $100 in civil court, if they possess the equivalent of about two joints or less.

Supporters say the measure will save the state money by relieving the strain such crimes put on the criminal justice system. Opponents worry that decriminalization could increase drug use among youth.

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee is also scheduled to hold a hearing on a measure to legalize limited amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in Annapolis.


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