A new marijuana law went into effect on Wednesday in Maryland.
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With Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature today on two bills passed by the legislature, Maryland decriminalized marijuana possession and becomes a full-fledged medical marijuana state.
Possession of small amounts of marijuana will no longer be a crime in Maryland under a law passed Monday and sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley for his expected signature.
On Wednesday, Maryland will become the 19th state to approve a medical marijuana program.
Maryland is set to become the 20th state to legalize marijuana for medical uses after lawmakers in the state's senate voted Monday 42-4 in favor of setting up a state-run commission that grants licenses to distribute the drug to approved patients.
The General Assembly has passed a law that allows caregivers of patients who use medical marijuana to possess up to an ounce of pot without being convicted of a crime.
For years, patients in Maryland with intractable pain, chronic diseases or terminal diseases have lobbied lawmakers to legalize the medical use of marijuana to ease their symptoms.