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Legalizing pot is a choice best left to lawmakers, not voters | READER COMMENTARY

About 30 supporters paraded a 51-ft. inflatable joint along Bladen Street during a rally near the State House last year organized by Maryland Marijuana Justice, to demand that the Maryland General Assembly legalize cannabis use by adults. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun).
About 30 supporters paraded a 51-ft. inflatable joint along Bladen Street during a rally near the State House last year organized by Maryland Marijuana Justice, to demand that the Maryland General Assembly legalize cannabis use by adults. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun). (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun)

Several days ago, Del. Luke Clippinger announced he was filing a referendum to place marijuana legalization on the ballot for 2022. This action is punting away the responsibility of the choice from legislators to voters who may or may not be aware of the science on all of marijuana’s societal and public health effects, some quite negative.

Year after year, our legislature has heard testimony from scientists and medical professionals on this topic and many delegates and senators have become well educated in the process. This is how representative democracy is intended to work because the average voter often does not have the opportunity to hear from experts on technical topics (“Maryland lawmakers dig into details of marijuana market, as legalization looms as a top issue,” Nov. 9).

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Yet, implicit in Delegate Clippinger’s action is the belief that voters will know enough to make an informed choice. Marijuana users have taken notice. While out on my daily predawn jog this past week, I am more frequently running through an acrid smell that hangs in the air from passing cars. The “wake and bake” culture is rejoicing already.

Christine Miller, Towson

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