AUGUSTA — The Maine Legislature won’t be giving further consideration to a pair of bills to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee’s unanimous vote against the bills puts them in the dead files for this session.

One bill would have removed criminal penalties for possession of up to five ounces of marijuana, and the other would have decriminalized possession of six or fewer marijuana plants.

During a hearing last month, supporters said the present law needs to be eased because it punishes people without any positive gain.

But opponents defended Maine’s present law on marijuana possession, calling it one of the nation’s most progressive.

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