New Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2015! We will be publishing a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws. This series is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2015 Legislative Session. To read about more laws resulting from the 2015 session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2015 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland. For a full listing of new laws effective October 1, 2015, check out this publication from DLS.
Senate Bill 456 (Chapter 351) – A court must “dismiss a criminal charge, in a prosecution for possession of marijuana or for possession of paraphernalia related to marijuana, if the court finds that a person used or possessed marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia because of a medical necessity.” You can learn more about this new law, including its legislative history, here.
Don’t forget, bills that are passed by the Maryland General Assembly do not always become Maryland Law. For example, Senate Bill 517, which calls for, among other things, the repeal of “the criminal prohibition on possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia and eliminates any penalty”, was vetoed by the Governor on policy grounds. Since this veto occurred after the Maryland Legislature adjourned, an override vote will not occur until the next legislative session commences. To learn more about the Maryland legislative process, check out this blog post on statutes.
In addition, the 2014 Legislative Session made changes to Maryland laws related to marijuana. Check out our 2014 post to learn more!
Note that all quotations, unless noted otherwise, are attributable to the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2015 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland, which is available online at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/LegisLegal/2015rs-90-day-report.pdf.