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The Weed Situation

The Weed Situation

Starting on Oct. 1 of 2014, people in Maryland caught holding less than 10 grams of marijuana face civil fines rather than criminal penalties. First-time offenders that are 21 or older get $100 fines, with subsequent offenses bumping the bill to as high as $500, and third-timers and those under 21 may end up sent to drug treatment. Those caught with 10 grams or more, however, are looking at a possible year in jail and $1,000 if convicted. Bear in mind, meanwhile, that devices used to smoke pot are still illegal, with first-timers facing up to a $500 fine.  Also, those who choose to go with edible THC—cookies, brownies, gummies, and the like—face the possibility of charges on the total weight of the confection, so don’t carry a tin of pot cookies unless you’re prepared to take the weight of the crime. Maryland’s medical-marijuana laws, meanwhile, are a work in progress; a state-licensed program is expected to be up and running in 2015, but if you’re a med-pot user who gets busted in Maryland today, you can try to convince a judge that it was a medical necessity to receive reduced penalties.

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