Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has given a favorable vote to Senate Bill 949.
The proposal would allow a person convicted of possession of marijuana before October 1, 2014 to file for an expungement (removal) of the charge. According to its official summary; “This bill expands eligibility for expungements to include convictions for possession of marijuana under § 5-601 of the Criminal Law Article before October 1, 2014.”
October 1st, 2014 marked the first day of a new statewide law in Maryland that decriminalized the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis, making it a civil fine rather than an arrestable misdemeanor.
The bill requires “that filing fees for petitions for expungements collected by the District Court be remitted to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).” The AOC may “use money received from filing fees only for the purpose of funding the processing of expungements.”
Senate Bill 949 will now move towards a full Senate vote; passage will place it before the House of Representatives. The full text of the measure – filed by Senators William Smith and Richard Madaleno – can be found by clicking here.
Earlier this month the Judicial Proceedings Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 928 which would legalize cannabis for everyone 21 and older. Although the measure has yet to advance out of committee, it is still currently alive.