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Decriminalization: Maryland has interesting marijuana laws

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2022 | Drug Charges

There are two basic sides to marijuana laws when you look at the various states. There has recently been a movement to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and many states have made this process legal. These states tend to have dispensaries where you can make purchases just the same way that you would buy alcohol from the local store. 

On the other side, you have states where marijuana use is entirely illegal or perhaps permitted for medical use. It’s treated much more like prescription medication if its use is allowed at all.

But Maryland falls somewhere in the middle, as a small amount of recreational marijuana has been decriminalized.

What does this mean?

This doesn’t mean that marijuana is legal and that you won’t face any ramifications. If you are found with less than 10 grams, it qualifies as a civil offense. It is not a criminal offense but is more similar to a traffic ticket. You have to pay a max fine of $100 and you will not spend any time behind bars. But this is not the same as making it entirely legal, the way that it has become in Colorado or Michigan.

If you have more than that, then it becomes a criminal charge again and you can face jail time. But a small amount of recreational marijuana falls into this gray zone where you could face some ramifications, but they’re not going to be as strict as they would be in another state, such as Texas.

These types of laws are changing all the time, so it’s important for people to know the current laws and the legal options they have if they’re facing charges.