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Kittleman to receive award for decriminalization support

County Executive Allan Kittleman delivers his inaugural speech Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, after being sworn in at Glenelg High School in Glenelg. (Jon Sham/Baltimore Sun video)

A national organization advocating marijuana policy reform will recognize Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman's support of decriminalization in Maryland in an awards ceremony Friday.

The award is a gesture of thanks from the Marijuana Policy Project, the largest organization of its kind according to its website, to several of the state's Republican lawmakers who supported decriminalization in Annapolis last session.

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The presentation will take place as part of the Maryland GOP Fall Convention Eve Party, held at Turf Valley Hotel and Conference Center in Ellicott City.

Kittleman, who has built his political success on a philosophy of fiscal conservatism and social libertarianism, was a co-sponsor, along with Democratic Sen. Bobby Zirkin, of a bill to decriminalize marijuana that successfully passed the General Assembly earlier this year.

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Former Del. Don Murphy, a Republican who represented District 12 – which incorporates parts of Howard and Baltimore counties – for a decade, will be presenting Kittleman's award. Other GOP members who supported the bill will also be honored.

""We are pleased to present this award to Executive Kittleman and the other Republican lawmakers who helped bring about these much-needed reforms," Murphy said in a statement. "Ending our failed marijuana prohibition policies makes sense regardless of what side of the political spectrum you're on. It is refreshing to see that the GOP in Maryland and across the country is beginning to show leadership on this important issue."

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