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House panel rejects marijuana decriminalization, sets study

Michael Dresser
The Baltimore Sun
April 2, 2014

Holding out against rising public sentiment in favor of less stringent marijuana laws, the House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to reject a move to treat possession of small amounts of the drug as a civil offense.

Instead, the committee amended the Senate-passed decriminalization bill to turn it into a measure setting up a task force to study possible changes in marijuana laws.

The move effectively ends efforts in Maryland this year to liberalize laws on recreational use of marijuana. The House and Senate have both passed bills to create a workable medical marijuana program, but they have to work out differences before Monday night if the bill is to pass.

The Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland issued a statement saying it is "deeply disappointed" in the House action.

Read the rest of the story here. 

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