Last year, the Maryland General Assembly made some moves to effectively decriminalize marijuana. But when it comes to smoking pot in public, there is still opposition.
The Maryland house passed a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to puff in a public spot. That means anyone caught with a joint on the sidewalk gets a $500 fine.
The margin of the vote appeared to be wide at 102-34, but the Washington Times reports that debate was split, especially among Democrats. Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk, D-Prince George’s, said the bill would have a disproportionate effect on black youth. But Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, D- Howard County, said that she didn’t want kids breathing in second-hand marijuana smoke.
The bill got over one hurdle in being passed by the House before “crossover day,” when all legislation must be sent to the other chamber. But if the bill is to become law, the Senate still has to pass a similar version, and it must be signed by Gov. Larry Hogan.
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