On Saturday April 5, I sat in the Maryland House of Delegates all day, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. I watched as our delegates delayed a vote to "digest the information" and then watched them engage in hours of debate. For some reason, Senate Bill 364, better known as the bill that will decriminalize marijuana, was considered an extremely controversial topic, even in such a blue state as Maryland. Eventually it passed 78-55 in the House ("Assembly moves to decriminalize marijuana," April 5).
I watched as delegates cited far-fetched statistics and extreme personal anecdotes. However, Del. Heather Mizeur, a candidate for governor, spoke of what she had heard sitting in the living rooms with Marylanders across the state: They told her "not to study, but to act." Delegate Mizeur was a leader in rejecting the task force and helping the Black Caucus in advancing the bill. She is well-known for her support of full marijuana legalization, and while that may scare some of her colleagues, her progressive ideals may reflect Marylanders' views more than they think.
Support for legalizing marijuana has been growing. According to a Goucher College poll, 51 percent of Marylanders support full legalization of marijuana in our state. Are our representatives behind the times compared to the people they represent? Marylanders' support for marriage equality and the Dream Act seem to suggest just that. Maryland needs a visionary leader as its next governor to bring our state's laws and policies in line with what its people support. That's why Heather Mizeur has my vote on June 24.
Jenna Williams, Towson
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