The discussion of the legalization of marijuana continues to be a heated debate on a national level as well as on a local level. You may recall that Maryland voted to decriminalize marijuana a few months ago – it’s just a first step in a long process. The decriminalization of weed will officially take place this October. Any possession under 10 grams will result in a fine rather than an arrest and jail time. Turns out that our legislators are finally starting to see the value in decriminalizing (and eventually legalizing) marijuana. Gubernatorial candidates for Maryland were recently asked about their views on legalization. The Democrats have varying degrees of ideas while the Republicans weight in with a resounding “no” (no surprise there).
- Heather Mizeur – Candidate Mizuer is by far the most progressive when it comes to legalizing marijuana. She was recently quoted saying, “Marijuana prohibition makes our communities less safe and wastes valuable law enforcement resources. Why should we treat something less toxic and addictive differently than alcohol or tobacco? Legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana will provide Maryland with a dedicated revenue stream to make overdue and critical investments in early childhood education.” Mizeur is currently holding steady in last place in the primary polls
- Anthony Brown – Currently holding first place standings in the polls, Brown is not for legalization at present, though he seems open to the idea. He has taken a more conservative route and would first like to see how Washington and Colorado are affected by legalization before he tosses his hat in the ring (which he will almost definitely do when he sees how much money Colorado is currently bringing in from the taxation). Spoken like a true politician, Brown isn’t committing either way.
- Doug Gansler – Gansler prefers the health argument and seems to be the most conservative in his views for legalization stating, “Any discussion of complete legalization should include Maryland’s health professionals, law enforcement and community organizations and be based on what is best for the health and security of families and children, not a rush to tax a new source of income to address budget pressures.” We’ll see if Gansler stands firm on this view depending on how bad the budget pressures become in the next few years.
All of the Democratic candidates voted for decriminalization, so it’ll be interesting to see where the marijuana debate ends up in the next few years if Democrats keep the House position. It’s important to keep in mind that decriminalization laws won’t officially kick in until October. If you are caught with marijuana between now and then, it is still considered a criminal offense. You’ll need to retain an aggressive Maryland criminal defense attorney. To schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395 or visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.