Montgomery Co. wants to make pot-paraphernalia arrests low priority

WASHINGTON — Maryland’s new law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana left something out: devices used to smoke that pot.

When Maryland lawmakers moved to make possession of pot a civil versus a criminal offense, they didn’t touch the laws regarding drug paraphernalia.

The Montgomery County Council is asking law enforcement in the county to make paraphernalia arrests a “low priority.”

The council will ask state lawmakers to address the issue next year.

In April, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the law decriminalizing possession. For a first offense, the civil penalty for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is a fine up to $100.

A second offense is punishable with a fine up to $250. Additional offenses come with fines of up to $500.

Third-time offenders or those under 21 would be evaluated for substance abuse problems or required to attend drug education classes.

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WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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