On April 5, the Maryland House of Delegates voted 78-55 to impose civil fines, rather than possible jail time, on those possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana. This vote occurred mere days after the House Judiciary Committee gutted the decriminalization bill, S.B. 364, and replaced it with a task force, which would not even have reported its findings for almost two years. On April 7, the Senate concurred in the amendments in a 33-8 vote. Immediately after the Senate concurrence, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced he would sign the bill into law.
Congratulations and thank you to our allies in the General Assembly: Bill sponsors Sen. Bobby Zirkin and Sen. Allan Kittleman; the Legislative Black Caucus, and especially Del. Keiffer Mitchell, Del. Nathaniel Oaks, and Caucus Chair Aisha Braveboy; our champions Del. Eric Luedtke, Del. Heather Mizeur, Del. Michael Smigiel, Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo, Del. Dereck Davis, Del. Alonzo Washington, and Del. Curt Anderson; Del. Kathleen Dumais for assisting Del. Anderson in defending the bill on the House floor; Del. Herb McMillan, Del. Bob Costa, and Del. Don Dwyer for making this a bipartisan effort; and many other passionate members of the General Assembly.
The Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland and its allies would like to sincerely congratulate and extend the utmost gratitude to all of these individuals, along with all those who called and emailed their legislators in support of S.B. 364. It would have been impossible to turn the tide so quickly and effectively without all your strength, support, and tenacity. Thank you again, and congratulations!