Md. Black Caucus Backs Bill Easing Marijuana Law

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus has voted to endorse legislation that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The caucus voted Thursday to endorse the measure sponsored by Delegate Curt Anderson, D-Baltimore. Anderson says the bill is needed because African-American youths are disproportionately arrested and convicted for marijuana use.

Under the bill, police would issue a citation to someone possessing less than an ounce of marijuana instead of arresting the person.

The individual would pay a fine of up to $100, and the person would not receive a criminal record on the first or second offense.

Massachusetts passed similar legislation last year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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