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Md. Delegate to Introduce Bill to Legalize Marijuana

The bill would require a six percent sales tax on marijuana to be used for education.
FREDERICK, Md. - A Maryland delegate who's also a candidate for governor, announced Tuesday she plans to introduce a bill in the state legislature that would legalize marijuana in the state.

"Marijuana as an illegal controlled substance has run its course in Maryland. It's time for us to understand that our marijuana laws have ruined lives, that they're enforced with a racial bias," said Del. Heather Mizeur, (D) - Montgomery County.

Mizeur says she'd also support the legalization of marijuana if elected governor.

"We would have cultivators, retailers, and laboratories in the state under a new regulated market, where we being the underground market to the light of day," Mizeur said.

Mizeur's bill would require a tax on marijuana. Under her bill, for every dollar, the state would get six cents.

Mizeur says the tax revenue could bring in $157 million for education, her idea isn't a hit with Frederick County delegates Michael Hough and Kathy Afzali. For Afzali, the issue hits close to home.

"I have personal experience with this given that my brother is a recovering drug addict and started at a very young age, at the age of 16, smoking marijuana," said Afzali, (R) - Frederick County.

"Now you're going to have people who are potentially on the roads that are high on marijuana, and it's very hard to test that," said Hough, (R) - Frederick and Washington Counties.

Not all members of the Frederick County Delegation are giving the bill the red light. Senator Ron Young (D), Delegate Galen Clagett (D), Delegate Patrick Hogan (R), and Delegate Kelly Schulz (R) say they're undecided.

Senator David Brinkley (R) sponsored a medical marijuana bill and says while he thinks the tax money should go to drug abuse prevention, he supports decriminalizing marijuana, not legalizing it.

Afzali and Hough says they'll strongly oppose the bill.

"It's my firm belief that marijuana makes you lazy and stupid, and while this may really encourage Delegate Mizeur's base, my base are the hard-working taxpayers of Maryland who are probably not the ones who are smoking marijuana and being lazy," Afzali said.

"I have to wonder what the people who are putting this bill in, what they're smoking putting in this kind of legislation because it sends a terrible message quite frankly to our young people out there," Hough said.

The Maryland General Assembly will decide if the time is right when session begins in January

"This is an issue who's time has come, and it's the right time to do it," Mizeur said. .

You can read five pages of detailed information about Mizeur's proposal by clicking here.
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