Senate Triples the Legal Amount for Marijuana Possession in Maryland

People in the state of Maryland are now able to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and only face civil charges after the State Senate passed a bill. 

The bill nearly tripled the amount of marijuana to trigger any criminal charges in Maryland, CBC Baltimore reported.

However, driving under the influence of marijuana is treated the same as alcohol, constituting a criminal offense in Maryland, a state in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The state in 2014 had already decriminalized possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana.

Other Bills Waiting for Approval

While the bill has passed, there are others, which are pending, including a bill making recreational marijuana legal.

The bill to legalize cannabis requires 60 percent support of both the full House and Senate to get on the ballot. If the bill passes, it is not subject to a veto by the governor.

Meanwhile, Maryland lawmakers are still struggling to regulate the state’s medical marijuana program.  The state’s former Governor Martin O’Malley already signed the medical marijuana bill into law in 2013, but the program has been constantly delayed due to legal challenges.

Maryland’s first licensed dispensaries weren’t able to open their doors until last December.