Md. Marijuana Decriminalization Vote Coming Friday

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Marijuana plant. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Marijuana plant. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — The Maryland Senate is set to vote Friday on whether to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Sen. Robert Zirkin’s bill would replace criminal penalties for pot possession with a $100 civil fine. Juveniles caught with the drug would also have to appear before a judge and possibly undergo treatment. Under an amendment from Sen. Christopher Shank, the same penalty would also apply to adults caught a third time.

Criminal penalties would remain intact for anyone carrying more than about one-third of an ounce of pot.

A similar bill is pending in a House committee.

The District of Columbia recently voted to significantly ease penalties for marijuana possession.

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