According to The Sun, Maryland legislators will pass a bill that would decriminalize possession of 10 grams or less of pot ("Assembly set to pass wage, marijuana bills," April 7). This is a breakthrough bill, especially promoted by the Black Caucus, that should be signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley.

For far too long the government has continued unabated in its efforts to destroy lives for a simple possession charge of small amounts of weed. It's well past the time to stop the real "reefer madness" of our times, the annual national incarceration of 800,000 people for marijuana use. The lunacy of the past government practices has fallen on the convicted as they struggle to find work with a tainted record. Sadly, their families pay the price as well.

These archaic marijuana laws have, in fact, proven useless to stop marijuana use, yet these laws destroy hopes and dreams for millions of young people. These laws especially target the young and black. Thanks to the Black Caucus for stepping up and demanding action now when the committee chairperson wanted to study and delay the issue for another two years. Soon the governor will have a bill on his desk and he will be able, with a stroke of his pen, to begin to end this long nightmare.

Dudley Thompson

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