Md. Prosecutors Urge Veto of Pot Leniency Bill

The Maryland State's Attorneys Association is urging Gov. Martin O'Malley to veto a bill that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The group's president, Frederick County State's Attorney Charlie Smith, wrote to the governor on Friday that the bill was hastily passed by the General Assembly and contains flaws that could reduce public safety.

Smith says the bill should have maintained criminal penalties for possessing marijuana on school property.

He says the bill decriminalizes marijuana smoking in public. Smith says that's a public safety hazard that should remain a criminal activity.

And he says the bill gives police no direction on what constitutes probable cause for a search. Smith says that raises the possibility of violent criminals keeping handguns and hard narcotics that would otherwise have been seized.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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