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Maryland Lawmakers Decriminalize Marijuana Paraphernalia

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The Maryland Senate voted in favor of the measure this week that would affect pipes, bongs, rolling papers and vaporizers.

In October of 2014 Maryland implemented a law that decriminalized marijuana possession. Adults caught with less than 10 grams of cannabis face a civil fine of up and no arrest or jail. Still, if you happened to have a roach or a pipe then you could end up facing two years in state prison.

Lawmakers addressed that imbalance this week when the state Senate voted to decriminalize paraphernalia as well.

Maryland is one of more than a dozen states that have scaled back penalties and fines for possession of small amounts of marijuana in recent years. This includes Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington DC and the city of Philadelphia.

Still many harsh penalties remain on the books when it comes to paraphernalia. In Pennsylvania the possession or sale of a pipe or bong is a criminal misdemeanor that can result in a $25000 fine and/or one year in prison. But take a stroll up iconic South Street and you can find dozens of “novelty” shops overflowing with smoking accessories. It’s all for tobacco: wink-wink.

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