Summer Sale Extended! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Harris has good reason to oppose D.C. marijuana law [Letter]

Your recent editorial, "The Harris boycott" (July 7) put far too much emphasis on the politics and not enough on what really matters. The Washington, D.C., City Council has just passed the most lenient marijuana decriminalization law in the nation, with a $25 fine that is not only less than the average traffic ticket but involves no point system. Do we really want the capital of our nation and mecca for family tourism to go down this path?

The data show that states with lenient decriminalization laws have higher rates of youth use, as reported to the Centers for Disease Control, than those that have stricter decriminalization with higher civil penalties for the first offense, increasing penalties for repeat offenders, and/or requirements for drug education. In some states that have decriminalized in practice, the offense is still a misdemeanor criminal charge that is removed from the books only if you go through the court system. Most counties in Maryland had a similar "diversion" system for those apprehended for possession, even before our recently passed, and relatively strict, decriminalization law. For other states with strict decriminalization codes, check out the laws in Mississippi, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont. The states with historically lenient decriminalization codes and high rates of youth marijuana use are Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts and, of course, Colorado.

As much as marijuana advocates may claim that laws don't make a difference to drug use, their position flies in the face of common sense and the truth.

Christine L. Miller, Baltimore

-
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
  • Sun shouldn't glorify marijuana use

    Sun shouldn't glorify marijuana use

    I was disappointed to read your front-page story about marijuana sales ("Maryland native dubbed 'marijuana mogul' in Colorado," Aug. 10).

  • Maryland should legalize pot [Letter]

    Maryland should legalize pot [Letter]

    I think it should be a person's own choice to do whatever drug a person chooses as long as it doesn't involve committing a crime to acquire the drug. When it comes to marijuana, we should be able to have and smoke as much as we like ("Fixing Md.'s marijuana law," Oct. 3).

  • D.C. pot law is none of Harris' business

    D.C. pot law is none of Harris' business

    I am sick of Republican politicians who follow their own agenda rather than the will of the people who elected them.

  • Blame pot, not almonds, for Calif. water woes

    Blame pot, not almonds, for Calif. water woes

    The Baltimore Sun editorial staff members have a certain left-leaning character that can be relied on at all times, never failing to stake their turf well. The Saturday editorial "Almond killjoy" (April 11) might be considered to be an exception to this rule, in their light-hearted attempt to bemoan...

  • End America's failed war on marijuana

    End America's failed war on marijuana

    Regarding Daniel Takash's thoughtful commentary on marijuana laws, marijuana prohibition is indefensible ("Marijuana legalization is the only option," Oct. 27).

  • Pot users treated as non-persons

    Pot users treated as non-persons

    Maryland legislators should take in account U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment in their consideration of what to do with the marijuana laws ("Maryland lawmakers take fresh run at legalizing marijuana," Jan. 31). No state shall deprive a person of their life, liberty and property without due process...

  • Medical marijuana debate

    Medical marijuana debate

    Local officials meeting at the Maryland Association of Counties convention in Ocean City last week had plenty of questions during a session set aside to discuss the state's new rules governing medical marijuana. Among the most intensely debated issues: How to ensure the legalization of pot for...

  • Medical marijuana could help decrease overdoses

    Medical marijuana could help decrease overdoses

    In the article "Overdose patients repeatedly end up in hospital" (Dec. 30), The Sun highlighted a number of strategies to deal with epidemic problem of narcotic abuse. Not mentioned, however, is an article from the August 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Significantly it...

Comments
Loading
73°