2. Weed decriminalized.

Even before Maryland decriminalized possessing small amounts of pot this year, it was clear that most in the Free State wanted more freedom for people to get high: A September 2013 poll showed 53 percent supported legalizing pot for those 21 years old and up, and regulating and taxing it like alcohol. Maybe that's the next step, but in the meantime, this year's little step is just that, little: You can still be arrested for carrying 10 grams or more, and still face criminal charges for having weed-smoking paraphernalia. Nonetheless, Baltimore City arrest data suggest an immediate impact: The police made an average of 3,660 arrests per month in July, August, and September this year, but the average for October and November, after decriminalization went into effect on Oct. 1, was 2,820. That saves not only money for all involved, but a whole lot of trouble and heartache for those no longer accused. (VS)
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