Freshman Del. Mark Levine (D-45th) probably didn’t expect his measure to decriminalize marijuana possession to get very far in the General Assembly.
If so, he called it right.
A subcommittee of the House Committee for Courts of Justice killed the measure on a voice vote Jan. 25. The same committee, on the same day, killed a Levine proposal allowing for marijuana convictions to be expunged from the criminal records of individuals who meet certain criteria.
Currently, those convicted of small amounts of marijuana are subject to jail terms of up to 30 days. Levine’s proposal to decriminalize marijuana didn’t go so far as to suggest legalization. Instead, it sought to replace criminal charges with civil penalties of $100 to $500.
Similar measures remain alive in the state Senate, but even if they cross over to the House, they are likely to be killed in committee.