Maryland Senate Passes Bills to Change Marijuana Laws

Change Marijuana Laws

In late March, the Maryland Senate approved a law that would make a number of changes to the state’s marijuana laws. The bill, which nearly triples the amount a person would have to possess to face criminal charges, also makes driving under the influence of cannabis an offense similar to drinking and driving. Under the law, it would be illegal to smoke either as a driver or a passenger.

The law, if approved by the House and signed by the Governor, would make possession of less than an ounce a civil infraction. Under current law, a person can be charged with a criminal offense for possession of 10 grams (an ounce is approximately 28 grams).

In early April, the Senate also approved a proposed law that would provide specific benefits to minorities who want to become licensed medical marijuana growers and processors.

Highly Respected Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

For more than three decades, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of people facing criminal charges in Maryland. He uses a thorough approach to criminal defense, carefully gathering and safeguarding all evidence in your case. He’ll ensure that law enforcement officers followed proper protocols, so that your constitutional rights were not violated.

Attorney Smith is well-respected among clients and colleagues, earning recognition as a Maryland Super Lawyer, as well as an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the top rating possible). Honored as a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine, he has also received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). He also holds a 10.0 Superb rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO.

Proven Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

We’ll aggressively protect your rights in a criminal matter Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We defend cases throughout Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Glen Burnie Man and Lexington Park Woman Indicted by a Howard County Jury for the Non-Fatal Shooting of a Columbia Man during a Drug Deal that Went Bad

Drug Charge Defense in Columbia, Ellicott City, and Howard County, MD

Drug dealing is not only a crime, it is a dangerous business. According to the Baltimore Sun, a man and a woman were indicted by a Howard County jury for shooting a man after an alleged drug deal went bad. Although the motivation for the shooting is not yet known, police have indicated that drugs, specifically large quantities of marijuana, were involved.

Eric Brandon Miller and Zehra Senel Oztas were allegedly involved in a drug deal with a Columbia man named Lee. Police believe Lee was wounded during a drug deal where he was trying to sell a substantial quantity of marijuana to Miller and Oztas. The man and woman accused of the shooting are facing charges of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first-degree assault and use of a handgun for a felony or violent crime, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Drug dealing is not only a crime, but dangerous. If you are charged with dealing drugs in Maryland, including:

  • Marijuana
  • Crack Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines (Meth)
  • Club drugs (e.g., X, ecstasy)
  • Prescription narcotics
  • Other drug related charges

You should seek counsel from an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith is a top rated former criminal prosecutor, with over 30 years of courtroom experience. He has handled thousands of criminal cases, including drug and drunk driving cases. You can see what many satisfied clients have to say about the job he did for them. In addition, you can check the results in real cases he has handled.

Contact Our Office

To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to work for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offenses, domestic violence and child abuse charges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.

Maryland Senate Okays Use of Medical Marijuana, with a Caveat; Legislation heads to House of Delegates for Floor Vote

The state of Maryland recently moved a few steps closer to giving medical marijuana patients an affirmative defense to criminal marijuana possession charges. In a landslide vote in late March, the state senate approved Senate Bill 308.

The legislation amends the 2003 Darrel Putnam Compassionate Act, a law that allows a defendant to invoke a medical necessity defense, but only to limit jail time. Under the Putnam legislation, qualified patients could still be convicted and have the misdemeanor conviction posted on their criminal record, but their maximum fine would be up to $100.

Under the proposed legislation, patients with “clear and convincing evidence” of their need to use medical marijuana cannot be found guilty nor fined $100. But, unlike in other states with medical marijuana statutes, patients in Maryland are not immune from arrest and prosecution. They must still defend their marijuana use in court.

Another aspect of SB 308 is that it does not include provisions regarding the growing of marijuana or purchasing of it in a dispensary. However, the proposed legislation does call for a study group to investigate more comprehensive medical marijuana use laws for 2012.

Meanwhile, the Maryland House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed HB 291 recently. That bill calls for the creation of an 18-member panel to advise the legislature on the best way to create a medical marijuana program in 2012.

Medical marijuana is permitted in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Other states, including Delaware and Connecticut, are currently considering legislation to allow its use under tightly controlled conditions. Such laws already exist in Rhode Island and New Jersey, where medical marijuana distribution centers were recently licensed by the state and are slated for opening later this year.

If you are charged with criminal marijuana possession charges, or need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer, contact us or call Jonathan Scott Smith now: 410-740-0101.


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