Push For Cannabis In Next Session
MARYLAND. – Although legalizing marijuana didn’t pass this year in Maryland, lawmakers are already saying they plan to bring it back next session. One a local sheriff is warning that heading down that path could spell trouble. “And I’m reading the synopsis of every shooting that’s occurred across this state, most were meeting to purchase or deliver marijuana,” said Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.
Sheriff Lewis says in his experience, violent crimes are often associated with marijuana possession and legalization would mean his office would see more of these cases. “These just aren’t minor assaults, misdemeanor assaults, these are violent assaults with fire arms and people being executed in the streets over the sale and distribution of marijuana,” said Sheriff Lewis.
Those in favor of legalization actually say they have proof that wouldn’t be the case, saying that in places like Colorado and California statistics show legalizing marijuana actually decreases crime. “What we see is when we take away the incentive for the street to serve cannabis meaning a legal program in place that has high accessibility for the public, you really see the street lose their value and you really see those numbers start going down,” said Peninsula Alternative Health’s Anthony Darby.
Looking towards next session, lawmakers say if they decide to go down that road several things would have to be in place for them to consider it. This includes making sure children don’t have access to it and that there’s not any room for illegal activity. “We want to make sure there’s a balance in that whole activity so that we’re not creating a market where it’s going to go underground or go back into the black market,” said Senator Addie Eckardt.