Civil, not criminal, penalties

In Maryland, possession or use of less than 10 grams of marijuana is not a criminal offense.  Possession or use of up to 10 grams of marijuana is still illegal, however, and carries civil penalties.

Read the Law: Md. Code Ann. Criminal Law § 5-601; § 5-601.1

Fines for possession of small amounts of marijuana

Because it is not classified as a crime, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana does not result in arrest, jail time, or a criminal record.  Possession or use of marijuana is not legal, but in these cases involving small amounts of marijuana, the penalties are civil in nature. 

Penalties under the new law

First offense

Fine of $100

Second offense

Fine of up to $250

Third (or later) offense

Fine of up to $500

Court appearances and drug treatment

Under the new law, even though the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana is not a criminal offense, violators who are under the age of 21 must appear in court and may be ordered to drug treatment.  Violators who are 21 or older must appear in court after a third offense, and may be ordered into drug treatment.


Christine Kim, Christina Lauderdale, and Yasmin Mahmoud, Practicing pursuant to Rule 16 of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Maryland – University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (Summer 2014). Edited and updated by PLL.

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