In Maryland it is the House which has been the problem. The Senate sent a similar bill to the House last year but it was killed in the lower chamber.

The steady march for marijuana reform continues as efforts to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana advance in both the New Hampshire and Maryland Legislature this week.

On Wednesday the New Hampshire House voted overwhelmingly to decriminalize marijuana. House Bill 1625 was approved in a bipartisan vote of 215 to 92.

If adopted the bill would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana only a civil violation punishable with up to $100 fine. Currently possession can result in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The bill would also reduce the penalty for growing a small amount of marijuana from a felony to a class A misdemeanor.

The bill now moves to the New Hampshire Senate where it faces a tougher challenge. In the past the Senate hasn’t been as supportive of marijuana reform.

The Maryland Senate also gave preliminary approval to their own marijuana decriminalization bill yesterday. A final vote is expect very soon which will then send the bill to the House. The measure, Senate Bill 364, would make adult possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana only a fine of up to $100.

In Maryland, though, it is the House which has been the problem. The Senate sent a similar bill to the House last year but it was killed in the lower chamber. Hopefully, the fact that all three Democrats running for governor this year have come out in support of decriminalization may help encourage the House to act this time.

Photo from Maryland.gov