'Compromise' Bill Approved, Legalizing Some Marijuana Paraphernalia - NBC4 Washington
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'Compromise' Bill Approved, Legalizing Some Marijuana Paraphernalia

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    A Maryland bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia is headed back to the House chamber after getting support from the state Senate.

    On Friday, senators voted 44-3 in favor of the amended bill, which legalizes drug paraphernalia involving the use or possession of small amounts of marijuana.

    Supporters of the measure called it a "compromise" bill because it decriminalized paraphernalia and upped the amount -- 10 grams to 20 grams -- for possession charges. But it also makes smoking pot in public or in a car a criminal offense and punishable by a $500 fine.

    Just because the bill decriminalizes paraphernalia, explained Sen. Robert Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, doesn't mean lawmakers want to see people smoking in parks or behind the wheel.

    Maryland decriminalized small amounts of marijuana possession during last year's session.