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Photo by Sam Sutch, via Wikimedia Commons
The Maryland Senate last night passed a bill that would raise the civil fine limit for marijuana from 10 grams to one ounce, putting Maryland in line with other states around the country that have decriminalized possession of larger amounts of cannabis.
The bill, which passed 36-11, was proposed by Baltimore County state Sen. Bobby Zirkin. It went to first reading today in the Maryland House of Delegates, and is now with the House Judiciary Committee.
“The randomness of 10 grams, it just doesn’t correspond to anything,” Zirkin explained to The Baltimore Sun, which first reported its passage. “It was a number picked out of the sky by the House Judiciary committee.”
He’s not wrong. Ten grams is an unorthodox amount for someone to purchase and carry, akin to buying a five-pack of beer at the store. And yet, oddly, Maryland is not alone in this, based on some quick research into the laws of 22 states that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis: Both Illinois and Missouri likewise set their decriminalization limits at 10 grams; New Hampshire picked 21 grams; New York in 1977 opted for a 25-gram limit, around three grams shy of an ounce; Mississippi’s magic number is 30; and Minnesota inexplicably sets the possession bar