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Maryland Gov. Candidate Backs Marijuana Legalization In Attempt to Gain Traction

Once politicians see legalization as a way to boost their careers, things will start to change quickly

Faced with a crowded Democratic primary for governor in Maryland, Heather R. Mizeur has decided to endorse marijuana legalization, which should help create a real contrast with her opponents. From the Washington Post:

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather R. Mizeur on Tuesday will propose legalizing marijuana and using the tax revenue it generates to fund pre-kindergarten education, according to an advance copy of her plan.

Mizeur, a Montgomery County delegate who faces Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in next year’s Democratic primary, proposes that Maryland regulate marijuana much like it does alcohol. She estimates that taxing the drug could yield up to $157.5 million in new revenue for the state each year.

Adults ages 21 and over would be permitted to possess up to an ounce of marijuana without violating state law under Mizeur’s plan, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post. Smoking marijuana would not be allowed in public, and it would be illegal to drive under the influence.

This could be a very smart political move. The latest poll of the Democratic primary found Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown at 41 percent, Attorney General Doug Gansler at 21 percent and Mizeur at 5 percent but with 33 percent still undecided.

Mizeur needs to raise her profile and legalization is one of the only issues that is extremely popular with the Democratic base, yet doesn’t have many champions among Democratic officials.

A narrow majority of all adults in Maryland support marijuana legalization, but the idea is likely to have dramatically more support among Democratic primary voters next year. Pew’s national polling found that “liberal Democrats” are the group most supportive of legalization and they tend to turn out heavily in primaries.

Once regular politicians start to see legalization as a way to boost their careers, that is when you know things will start to change quickly.

CommunityJust Say Now

Maryland Gov. Candidate Backs Marijuana Legalization In Attempt to Gain Traction

Once politicians see legalization as a way to boost their careers, things will start to change quickly

Faced with a crowded Democratic primary for governor in Maryland, Heather R. Mizeur has decided to endorse marijuana legalization, which should help create a real contrast with her opponents. From the Washington Post:

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather R. Mizeur on Tuesday will propose legalizing marijuana and using the tax revenue it generates to fund pre-kindergarten education, according to an advance copy of her plan.

Mizeur, a Montgomery County delegate who faces Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in next year’s Democratic primary, proposes that Maryland regulate marijuana much like it does alcohol. She estimates that taxing the drug could yield up to $157.5 million in new revenue for the state each year.

Adults ages 21 and over would be permitted to possess up to an ounce of marijuana without violating state law under Mizeur’s plan, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post. Smoking marijuana would not be allowed in public, and it would be illegal to drive under the influence.

This could be a very smart political move. The latest poll of the Democratic primary found Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown at 41 percent, Attorney General Doug Gansler at 21 percent and Mizeur at 5 percent but with 33 percent still undecided.

Mizeur needs to raise her profile and legalization is one of the only issues that is extremely popular with the Democratic base, yet doesn’t have many champions among Democratic officials.

A narrow majority of all adults in Maryland support marijuana legalization, but the idea is likely to have dramatically more support among Democratic primary voters next year. Pew’s national polling found that “liberal Democrats” are the group most supportive of legalization and they tend to turn out heavily in primaries.

Once regular politicians start to see legalization as a way to boost their careers, that is when you know things will start to change quickly.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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