Can you imagine going to the corner store to get a pack of not cigarettes but weed. Well, Democratic candidates for governor are pushing for just that. The Baltimore Sun quoted Democrat Alec Ross in a video he produced in which he said “We have a fully baked plan to legalize and regulate marijuana in the state of Maryland.” Ok he is looking for laughs too but these candidates are dead serious and want recreational marijuana taxed as a way to swell the coffers of the state.
The idea is popular among Maryland voters. About 60 percent of residents consistently poll in support of legalizing the herb.
Sen. Richard Madaleno, the only Democrat in the , has offered legislation last year that would legalize recreational marijuana and imposed a 9 percent tax that would pay for community colleges, opioid addiction, overdose prevention, public safety, job training and public education.
According to the Sun, Ross’ plan would legalize marijuana purchases of up to 1 ounce for adults over 21 years old, license every aspect of the industry and use the anticipated revenue to pay for regulating and policing the industry, as well as bolstering the state’s general fund. Ross, a tech entrepreneur, said he didn’t think the money should be earmarked for a specific project. He also proposes that people be allowed to grow as many as six plants at home for personal use.
“lt makes little sense for marijuana to be illegal in this day and age, and the costs of doing so are increasingly unbearable,” Ross said “Meanwhile, we are prosecuting and incarcerating people for nonviolent crimes and crushing their chances for social mobility. It is time to create a taxed, regulated market for safe and legal marijuana.”
Ben Jealous, the former head of the NAACP, and gubernatorial candidate also supports legalizing marijuana particularly since African Americans have disproportionately incarcerated for marijuana.
Democrat Jim Shea, former chair of the Venable law firm, also says that low level criminal records from what he called “marijuana prohibition” should be expunged.
The Policy Project’s voter guide, which tracks candidates’ positions on marijuana issues, says that Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Is the only candidate who has not spoken out advocating for marijuana legalization. The democratic candidate will face off against incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November. Hogan has not taken a position on marijuana legalization,
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