Legislation that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana hit friction in a key committee Thursday afternoon.
The proposal to give only a fine - and not jail time - to people caught with less than 10 grams of pot passed the Senate earlier this month with bi-partisan support.
On Thursday, lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee intensely questioned whether the measure went too far.
"If we're effectively decriminalizing it, why would we want to study it?" asked Simmons, a Montgomery County Democrat.
Several lawmakers pointed out the state just relaxed penalties for marijuana possession last year.
"I want people not to use dope," McDermott said.
"There are smarter ways to reduce marijuana use, and that is what we all want to do," Riffle said.