Governor Signs Bill to Decriminalize Pot

Apr 15, 2014


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A new law that will decriminalize marijuana in October involves some ambiguities that police and prosecutors are just beginning to confront.

Under the law, possession of rolling papers, pipes and other marijuana accessories will remain a criminal offense, meaning a person could still be arrested for it.

Also, fines are supposed to go up for anyone caught with the drug more than once, but Scott Shellenberger, the state's attorney for Baltimore County, says it will be hard for police to establish whether a person has been charged before. Prior non-criminal offenses will not show up in the criminal database.

Shellenberger says the prosecutors will issue voluntary guidelines for enforcement.

Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the bill into law Monday. It eliminates criminal penalties for possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana.