Come October, the possession of small amounts of marijuana will be decriminalized in Maryland. Possessing the means to smoke marijuana, though, will remain illegal.
The Montgomery County Council has given final approval to a resolution asking state lawmakers to go further in decriminalizing marijuana.
When the General Assembly approved a bill earlier this year decriminalizing the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, they did nothing about possessing the means to use the drug. While possessing marijuana itself will soon be a lesser crime, possessing a pipe with which to smoke that marijuana would remain against the law.
The Council passed a resolution today asking state lawmakers to close that loophole when they reconvene next year, something supporters of decriminalization in Annapolis expect will happen.
Council members also hope their resolution sends a message to Maryland Congressman Andy Harris. The Eastern Shore Republican introduced a budget amendment in Congress to prevent D.C. from implementing it's decriminalization law. Councilwoman Nancy Navarro called Harris' actions "shameful."
"We do not support a Maryland Congressman standing in the way of allowing our neighbors in Washington, D.C. to move forward with implementing the laws passed by their elected officials," she said.
Maryland's decriminalization law goes into effect in October.