Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
News Opinion Readers Respond

Mizeur deserves credit for decriminalization [Letter]

We, members of the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, write in response to the editorial, "Spin control," that appeared on May 8. Our coalition is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates. We take no position on the Maryland gubernatorial race. The purpose of this letter is to set the record straight.

Our coalition promotes honest, fact-based dialogue regarding marijuana use and the impact of its criminalization and advocates for the safe, effective, efficient regulation and taxation of the sale of marijuana in Maryland for adults. As part of our advocacy, members of our coalition were intensively involved in the marijuana policy reform bills, including the last-minute resurrection of Sen. Bobby Zirkin's bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The May 8 editorial dismissed Del. Heather Mizeur's role in the passage of marijuana decriminalization. The facts of Delegate Mizeur's role in the marijuana decriminalization effort are as follows: Delegate Mizeur collected an impressive number of cosponsors for her own decriminalization bill, a bill that went even further than the legislation that passed. This was accomplished through important one-on-one conversations with many of her colleagues. Del. Mizeur also enlisted a strong Republican co-lead sponsor, Del. Michael Smigiel, to carry the bill with her. Del. Mizeur promoted the issue of marijuana policy reform in the court of public opinion through press conferences, press releases and social media as well as by organizing and holding a rally for decriminalization in front of the State House. She testified at the hearing and was an integral player in a core group of legislators and activists working to resurrect the bill after it was gutted by the House Judiciary Committee, helping to whip votes and stepping aside when it seemed more appropriate for others to lead so as to not allow politics to get in the way of policy.

The Marijuana Policy Coalition credits the passage of decriminalization to a number of dogged advocates in the General Assembly, and we place Del. Mizeur on a short list of those who worked the hardest for this critical policy reform.

Sara Love, Bethesda; Dan Furmansky, Silver Spring; Rachelle Yeung, Washington, D.C.; and Neill Franklin, White Hall

The writers are members of the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland.

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • What did Hogan tell the NRA?
    What did Hogan tell the NRA?

    Based on what Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan has said about gun control, it's hard to see what the National Rifle Association would find appealing about him. He has said that although he opposed the strict new gun control legislation Gov. Martin O'Malley championed two years...

  • Statistics don't tell the whole story of Hogan's win
    Statistics don't tell the whole story of Hogan's win

    I must disagree with commentator Thomas F. Schaller's column on Maryland's gubernatorial election ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11).

  • Polls are not in public interest
    Polls are not in public interest

    Mileah Kromer discusses the reasons that the results of pre-election polls concerning the race for governor were largely incorrect, particularly the timing of the polls on which media and the campaigns relied ("Hogan and Brown: tortoise and hare?" Nov. 12). I do not doubt that she is largely...

  • Race played no role in Hogan win
    Race played no role in Hogan win

    I read Thomas Schaller's column ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11) regarding Larry Hogan's win over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the 2014 Maryland gubernatorial election. He basically states that the areas Mr. Hogan won had more white people then black.

  • Leopold: New governors should be sworn in before the General Assembly session
    Leopold: New governors should be sworn in before the General Assembly session

    Sixteen years ago, I sponsored legislation that called for a constitutional amendment that would have allowed incoming governors to take office prior to the commencement of the General Assembly ("Hogan names ex-Senator Neall to transition team," Nov. 12). The bill, which would have allowed...

  • Enough with the talk of race in analyzing elections
    Enough with the talk of race in analyzing elections

    Race, racism, racist. I am so tired of hearing these words whenever a candidate loses or a policy is defeated ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11). Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown lost to Larry Hogan because Mr. Brown ran one of the worst campaigns in recent Maryland elections. He even...

  • The Republican revolution hits Dundalk
    The Republican revolution hits Dundalk

    The recent election was historic for Maryland. The citizens of Maryland voted in a Republican for governor and three new Republican county executives, District 6 is completely Republican now and there were many other Republican winners. There are now 14 Republican senators and 50 Republican...

  • Is Hogan inevitable in 2018?
    Is Hogan inevitable in 2018?

    I couldn't decide whether I was more amused or bemused by Richard J. Cross III's op-ed about the possible Democratic candidates for governor four years from now ("Who will challenge Hogan in 2018?" Nov. 15).

Comments
Loading