Apr 072014

420RADIO News for 2014-04-07 (Monday)

Maryland’s House of Delegates has brought decriminalization back from the dead.  We told you on Friday how a House committee had effectively killed the bill, but on Saturday, delegates from the Black Caucus issued a rare challenge to the committee to bring the bill to the floor, where it passed.  The ACLU and the Black Caucus were moved to act by the disproportionate arrests of blacks for low-level marijuana offenses, rejecting the House committee’s call for a two-year study instead.  Now the Senate has agreed to the House’s changes to the bill, which include escalating fines of $250 and $500 for second and third offenses, where the Senate had approved a flat $100 fine.  The House also proposes mandatory drug treatment for anyone under 21 and any adult caught three times.  Under both versions, 10 grams is the maximum amount of marijuana that is decriminalized.  The bill now heaeds to Gov. O’Malley’s desk, and he is expected to sign it.