A lot has changed in the two yeas since David Simon sat down with the president to discuss drug policy, but the writer and producer’s message remains the same.
Tag: war on drugs
Even though the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana is becoming almost a political no-brainer (especially as increasing numbers of Americans favor outright legalization), our ostensibly progressive governor’s “tough on crime” brand has made it hard for him to oppose incarceration in any case. How much sympathy can we expect Gov. Martin O’Malley to muster for scofflaw stoners when he waited until 2012 to commute the sentence of a man serving life in prison, after being made aware of his probable innocence in 2008?
Lately politicians have become very comfortable decrying our marijuana laws — finally. But ask them about their personal histories with pot, and the conversation gets a little more awkward.
Tried it once in college and then not “more than once every five years since then”:
+ Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore)!
Tried once in her late thirties and immediately decided it “wasn’t her thing”:
+ Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery County)*
“Decriminalize the Possession of Small Amounts of It” doesn’t look as good on a bumper sticker as “Legalize It,” but that’s Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s official position on Maryland’s marijuana laws.
With marijuana legalization gaining support all across the country — and with gubernatorial rival Del. Heather Mizeur making legal weed a key plank in her platform — Brown has entered into the issue with a rather modest proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of the drug.
In a letter made public Monday, Brown explained the reasoning behind decriminalization. He pointed out that marijuana arrests disproportionately target African-Americans, that such an arrest can have “an incredibly negative impact on that person’s life,” and that enforcement is “costly,” tying up resources that could be put to better use.
When it comes to marijuana, let it be known that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is “not going to be waving the Schmoke flag of legalization,” which, ironically, is a statement you’d have to be high to understand.
She’s referring to former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke’s push for decriminalization of the drug, so it’s clear enough that she’s expressing her disagreement with his views, but what the heck is a “Schmoke flag?” Schmoke himself has never before heard the term. “I assure you it was never a flag of retreat,” he said.
Man, are we a progressive state or what? A medical marijuana bill that passed the House of Delegates will likely pass the Senate, according to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, meaning that Maryland would be developing its own medical marijuana program over the next several years.