Law and Marijuana

Starting on October 1 (this Wednesday), a number of new laws take effect in Maryland. They involve drugs, discrimination, domestic violence, and driving. Read on to be reminded how not to run afoul of the law:

Marijuana decriminalization. Stoners, rejoice: As of this week, if you’re caught with less than 10 grams of marijuana, you’ll face civil charges (instead of criminal ones). First time offenders can expect a $100 fine, rising to $500 the third time you get caught.

Transgender discrimination. Maryland’s transgender residents will now be protected when seeking housing, employment, credit, and/or use of public accommodations. Excellent news.

Domestic violence. The state’s punishments for domestic violence are getting tougher in a number of ways. Maryland had been the only state in the entire country to require a ultra-high standard of proof, or “clear and convincing” evidence, to get a protective order; under the new policy, “a preponderance of the evidence” will suffice. And anyone who commits an act of domestic violence in front of a child could face up to five extra years in prison.

Texting while driving. Hey, readers: Don’t text and drive! As of this week, if you cause an accident because you were texting or talking on your cell phone, you face extra penalties of up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

4 replies on “Be Aware–Maryland’s New Laws Take Effect This Week”

  1. I am in favor of the new laws that take effect this Wednesday. Now you lawmakers that keep making these laws for people who can afford to pay the fines. Now let’s create some laws to put thugs in prison and get them off our streets.

  2. Don’t be too excited about these new and inconsistent Marijuana Laws. For less than 10 grams it is now only a civil offense, but any possession of paraphernalia to smoke pot out of is still a misdemeanor. The laws in this case are inconsistent with the claim of decriminalization. You could be caught smoking and be arrested/processed for the papers used to roll said drug, but not for the drug itself. Be careful out there!

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