Answers to Common Questions About Maryland’s Marijuana Regulations

On April 14, 2014, Maryland became the 18 th state to decriminalize possession of marijuana. Even though the District of Columbia joined in Maryland’s initiative of marijuana legalization, Maryland will be the first state in the Mid-Atlantic region to legalize medical marijuana. While members of the medical community have welcomed the news of this legislation, most people still have some logistical questions about medical marijuana in Rockville .

What did SB 364 do?
Prior to SB 364, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana resulted in penalties of $500 in fines and up to 90 days in jail. SB 364 changes the criminal penalties for possessing less than 10 grams with a civil fine, similar to a traffic citation.

Are there penalties for subsequent offenses?
While a first offense of possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana now results in a $100 fine, a second offense is punishable by up to a $250 fine. A third or subsequent offense can result in fines up to $500 and requires the offender to attend a drug education program and a referral to an Medical Marijuana in Rockville assessment for substance abuse.

What are penalties for minors?
Minors have different penalties for possession of marijuana , so it’s important for minors to discuss these consequences with a criminal defense attorney. The punishment for minors possessing marijuana is similar to punishment for underage drinking and driving. A minor may be required to participate in a supervised work program, attend drug education programs, and forfeit his or her license for a certain time period.

Is paraphernalia decriminalized?
While SB 364 does decriminalize marijuana possession, it does not address possession of drug paraphernalia. As a result, the penalties for possessing drug paraphernalia in Maryland remain the same.

How can someone handle a marijuana charge?
SB 364 is a new Maryland law, so most people aren’t sure of their rights when facing marijuana possession charges. For this reason, it’s a good idea for someone charged with possession to consult with a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer can help explain Maryland’s new laws in relation to a particular client’s case.