Pot Decriminalization May Have to Wait in Maryland

Apr 3, 2014

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's legislature apparently won't eliminate criminal policies for marijuana possession this year, but it will likely take a step in that direction.

The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to create a task force to study decriminalization policies. The task force would make a recommendation after two years.

This is a reworked version of a Senate bill that would decriminalize the drug right away. In the same situation last year, this committee let the bill die without reaching the House floor.

Del. Curt Anderson, an outspoken advocate of legalizing marijuana, says the vote Wednesday was a "major step forward," though it's not a victory.

The task force will include representatives of the legislature, the public defender's office, law enforcement agencies, and numerous other groups.