About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - Criminal Law
(a)   Except as authorized in this title, a person may not possess or purchase a noncontrolled substance that the person reasonably believes is a controlled dangerous substance.
(b)   To determine if a person has violated this section, the court shall include in its consideration:
(1)   whether the noncontrolled substance was packaged in a manner normally used to illegally distribute a controlled dangerous substance;
(2)   if the noncontrolled substance was purchased, whether the amount of the consideration was substantially greater than the reasonable value of the noncontrolled substance; and
(3)   whether the physical appearance of the noncontrolled substance is substantially identical to that of a controlled dangerous substance.
(c)   It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the substance a person possessed or purchased was not a controlled dangerous substance if the person reasonably believed that it was a controlled dangerous substance.
(d)   A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.