As someone who has worked in the Maryland criminal justice field for over 25 years and has witnessed how "simple" possession and use of marijuana often leads to the abuse of other drugs, I find it disheartening to read that our elected officials are trying to make Maryland part of the minority of states that allow this ("Advocates for legal marijuana take first steps," March 20). The proponents' reasoning is ridiculous, as we all know that most users are getting away with it and that our state courts are not being "strained" by prosecution of these crimes.
What kind of message does this send to our youth and our communities? Two states that have recently enacted this legislation are already seeing the negative effects. We will witness more use and abuse at public events and gatherings, knowing that the consequences will be no more severe than a parking ticket.
Hopefully, most House of Delegates members will vote on the side of common sense and defeat this legislation, thereby serving all Marylanders responsibly.
Ron Coccodrilli, Hagerstown