Marijuana decriminalization passed the House today by a vote of 78-55 after consideration of a slew of amendments by Republicans that all failed to garner sufficient support.
Del. Michael Hough (R) submitted an amendment rejected 58-72 that would require offenses within a drug-free school zone to be charged as misdemeanors rather than civilly. Del. Neil Parrott’s (R) amendment to make all offenses in a public place misdemeanors instead of civil offenses also failed 45-87.
Del. Kathryn Afzali (R) offered two amendments. The first amendment would have reduced the amount of marijuana classified as a civil offense from 10 grams to 5 grams. It failed 54-78. The second amendment that failed 42-87 would have required police to charge offenders by citations rather than as civil offenses.
Del. Rick Impallaria (R) sponsored an amendment that went down 40-89 that would have required the attorney general to notify the public of a slew of risks associated with marijuana use before the law could go into effect. Finally, Del. Justin Ready (R) tried to amend the bill to retain criminal offenses for people less than 21. This one failed 38-93.
The Judiciary Committee submitted a small amendment that slightly modify the Senate bill that does not alter its intent. This change will nonetheless require the Senate to assent to the modified bill before it can go to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.