ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia is headed back to the House chamber after getting support from the Senate.

On Friday, senators voted 44-3 in favor of the amended bill, which legalizes drug paraphernalia involving the use or possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Supporters of the measure called it a “compromise” bill because while it decriminalized paraphernalia and upped the amount — 10 grams to 20 grams — for possession, it also makes it a criminal offense and punishable by a $500 fine, to smoke in public or in a car.

Maryland decriminalized small amounts of marijuana possession during last year’s session.

Just because the bill decriminalizes paraphernalia, explained Sen. Robert Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, doesn’t mean lawmakers want to see people smoking in parks or behind the wheel.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)




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