Car crashes and violations related to marijuana have spiked over the past year, according to a local news report.
The number of crashes investigated by Maryland State Police that were linked to marijuana nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018.
Over the same time period, the number of traffic violations linked to marijuana jumped by nearly 40 percent.
Maryland State Police said it provides troopers with advanced training for detecting impairment among drivers. The agency said confirming marijuana-related impairment is different from determining if a driver is impaired by alcohol. He noted that with marijuana, law enforcement is looking for “bloodshot red, glassy eyes, dilated pupils, drooping eyelids, slow exaggerated movements.”
Law enforcement in a western state told the news organization that they’ve seen a 74 percent increase in fatal crashes since the state decriminalized marijuana in 2013.
Maryland’s laws on weed have changed over the years. The medical use of marijuana has been legal in Maryland since 2013. The offense moved from a criminal to a civil violation. Possession of 10 grams or less was decriminalized in 2014.
In the most recent move, the recreational use of cannabis will be legal on July 1, 2023. Adults over age 21 will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces.
Marylanders can also grow their own cannabis plants at home starting July 1. The limit is two plants.
In addition, Maryland law enforcement won’t be able to stop a vehicle or a person based solely on the smell of cannabis starting July 1, 2023. The legal measure prevents law enforcement from stopping motorists based on the smell of cannabis alone unless there is other evidence that the motorist is impaired such as erratic driving.
Baltimore City state legislator Sen. Jill Carter sponsored the heavily debated bill. Republican lawmakers opposed the proposal.
Reduced penalties for marijuana possession became the norm on Jan. 1, 2023.
Possession of up to 2.5 ounces is a civil offense. Fines max out at $250 for up to 2.5 ounces.
Previously, possession of less than 10 grams was a civil offense. Possession of 10 grams or more was a criminal offense with penalties including up to six months of jail time and fines of up to $1,000.
Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh cannabis charges needs. An Ocean City marijuana lawyer can help you to get your record cleared. The consultation is free.
We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or through the website for a free consultation.