Maryland House panel to hear marijuana legalization bill Tuesday

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Local,Maryland,Andy Brownfield

ANNAPOLIS -- A Maryland House panel is slated to hold a public hearing Tuesday on the a bill to legalize marijuana in the state.

The measure would remove any state penalty for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana and allow Marylanders age 21 and over to cultivate up to three plants. It would also direct the comptroller to create a licensing system for retail stores as well as wholesale and testing facilities.

The bill would continue to make it illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.

The state Senate is set to vote Monday night on a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot.

Current law has penalties for possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana at up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. The bill before the Senate would eliminate any criminal charge and impose a $100 civil fine.

Marijuana legislation has historically had a hard time passing through the Maryland General Assembly.

abrownfield@washingtonexaminer.com

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