The Governor today legalized the use of marijuana. As a marijuana haze descends on Maryland get ready for the consequences of this latest triumph of liberal democrat thought as more human wreckage is added to a society already full of rot.
I am not exaggerating the impact of this change, in fact I can’t think of anything more antithetical to the American ideal of “be all you can be” than the ambition sucking, motivation killer that is marijuana. If Maryland wants greater achievement and success for its children then no message could be more damaging than the Governor, General Assembly and State Maryland saying that pot is “OK”.
This change in policy will persuade more children to try the drug and consequently more children will use the drug. Oh how progressive we are.
Supporters of the new law signed today by the Governor would say that the law didn’t “legalize” the drug, the law just “decriminalizes” it, but the law specifically says that possession of less than 10 grams is no longer a crime. True a fine may be levied against someone who possesses the drug but it is only a civil penalty similar to a speed camera ticket. Only two years ago the punishment was a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, a year ago 90 days in jail, and now it’s a $100 citation and no record. Pot is legal.
At the start of the 2014 General Assembly Session the Governor, House Speaker, Judiciary Committee Chairman, and all law enforcement agencies opposed decriminalization and for good reason. The law includes many gray areas and loopholes that police and prosecutors are just beginning to confront.
Under the law, possession of rolling papers, pipes and other marijuana accessories will remain a criminal offense. This means a person caught smoking a joint technically could be arrested for the rolling paper but not the marijuana inside.
Fines are supposed to go up if someone is caught more than once for possessing marijuana but how will police know. Since marijuana possession will no longer be a crime, it will not show up in the criminal database.
Also police searches will be greatly affected, many of which are now predicated on the distinctive smell of marijuana which often leads to many lawful arrests for guns and heroin. If the police smell pot will they still have legal grounds to search someone’s car since civil marijuana <10g smells the same as criminal marijuana >10g? If police find several baggies of marijuana in a car, totaling more than 10 grams’ worth, can they aggregate them and issue a criminal charge?
For the many outstanding flaws in the drafting of the law the Maryland State’s Attorney Association (Maryland’s prosecutors) sent the Governor a letter last week urging him not to sign the law because it needed more work. The Governor ignored them.