Much has been made about the 2014 decriminalization of possessing small amounts of marijuana, less than 10 grams, in Maryland. When the law was passed it did not legalize paraphernalia, the pipes, bongs, and other items used to smoke marijuana. As a result people could be criminally charged for possessing a pipe – but not for possessing the marijuana that might be used in that pipe. Recently, the Maryland House and Senate approved a bill that legalizes drug paraphernalia and doubles the amount of marijuana subject to civil possession penalties. It would still have to be approved by the Governor.
“We made the possession of marijuana a civil offense, but the hardware used with it is still criminal, so you had this disjointed law that didn’t make any sense,” says Sen. Bobby Zirkin. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
In other words, if you don’t know the law in Maryland you might end up needing a criminal defense attorney.