WICOMICO CO., Md. – The Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office submitted a change to proposed legislation, regarding the consumption of marijuana in public, on Tuesday.
Before Tuesday, the proposed legislation classified any marijuana use in public as a misdemeanor with a fine that could range up to 500 dollars and no more than 90 days in jail. During Tuesday’s County Council meeting, officials asked that the wording of the proposed law be more specific and say “smoke” instead of just “consume”.
This comes after medical marijuana advocates expressed concern that the proposed ordinance may restrict patients who legally use the drug in forms like ointments. However, officials say the intention of this proposal is not to restrict that type of use.
“I think a lot of people think that this is somehow criminalizing marijuana or taking medical marijuana away from patients that need it. Quite to the contrary. It does none of those things. All this does is say that you can’t smoke marijuana while in public,” says Bill McDermott, Wicomico County Deputy State’s Attorney.
Advocates say this word change will make it so it’s still legal for medical marijuana use in public as long as it doesn’t involve smoking. There’s no exact timeline for this legislation, officials are still waiting on input from the Attorney General’s office. But we’re told this would closely mirror Fruitland’s law that classified marijuana use in public as a misdemeanor.