Just days after the first legal marijuana sales took place in Colorado, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) announced that he would support legislation to make marijuana legal and regulated in his own state.
“I favor the legalization and taxation of marijuana, with restrictions,” Miller said, adding that he thinks his position will only grow in popularity in coming years. “I know where people are going to be a generation or two from now.”
MPP will continue to build support for bills like this in the Senate and House, where Del. Heather Mizeur and Del. Curtis Anderson are pushing for marijuana policy reform legislation in the coming session.
This week, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur (D) released a plan to regulate marijuana like alcohol. "Marijuana is safer than alcohol and tobacco," she told the Baltimore Sun. "It has been a failed policy for us as a nation to criminalize the use of this substance."
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) — who is leading in the polls — has not said he supports legalization. However, he appears to understand that law enforcement should focus on more violent crimes and he "welcomes a continued discussion and analysis" of decriminalizing negligible amounts of marijuana.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Doug Gansler (D)’s spokesman said, “There does not appear to be a groundswell toward full-scale legalization here in Maryland nor does the attorney general feel that unrestrained legalization would be appropriate."
On the Republican side, current Harford County executive David Craig opposes legalizing marijuana. Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County was also opposed, though he appeared more open to reform. “I just don’t think you’d be able to control it, so I’m not for the version that [Mizeur] has spoken of,” George said, noting he isn’t necessarily opposed to the concept of allowing adults to use marijuana.
A third Republican candidate, Charles County business executive Charles Lollar, said he is undecided.