Marijuana Politics: Now a Campaign Issue in Maryland

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 10 2014 10:46 AM

Marijuana Politics: Now a Campaign Issue in Maryland

Today's minor news on the marijuana front comes in Time's interview with Joe Biden. Asked about the president's comments about marijuana, made during interviews for his New Yorker profile, Biden pivots to sentencing reform. "I support the President’s policy," he says. "I think the idea of focusing significant resources on interdicting or convicting people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources." This represents a sort of shift from the norm, when Biden blurts out something and the president has to respond.

The Biden interview, we're told, occured on the Amtrak from D.C to Philadelphia. That means it cut through Maryland, where dark-horse gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur, a Democratic state delegate, is asking the front-runners (the lieutenant governor and the attorney general) to join her in backing decriminalization of marijuana. The state's Maryland Marijuana Decriminalization Act, which would reduce penalties for an ounce of the stuff to a $100 fine, may have the votes to pass in a legislature run by Democratic supermajorities. Mizeur wants to make sure.

Advertisement

"I was pleased to read about your support for this initiative," she writes to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in a letter. "Reform of marijuana laws is far from outside the mainstream views of leaders across the country; and here in Maryland, a recent Goucher poll reported just 6 percent of Marylanders favored jail time as a consequence for marijuana possession."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 10:23 AM From Fringe to Mainstream: How We Learned to Panic About Terrorists Crossing the Border
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 18 2014 9:57 AM “The Sun Never Sets Upon the British Empire,” Explained in GIF by an Old Children’s Toy
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 18 2014 8:53 AM The Other Huxtable Effect Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 10:07 AM “The Day It All Ended” A short story from Hieroglyph, a new science fiction anthology.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?