Some didn’t responded when polled about the issue.
Annapolis, Md (KM). It’s a different type of voter guide for the June 26th Primary Elections in Maryland. The Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition sent questionnaires out to all 550 candidates for the Maryland General Assembly, asking them about their positions on legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana in the state.
“A lot of people are really interested in candidates’ views on this topic. And it’s not something that cuts neatly across party lines. You really need to find out what the individual candidates positions are in order to know what they think about policy reform,”: says Kate Bell, the legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project.
She says 20% of the legislative candidates responded to the survey. But there were a large majority who did not, including some incumbents who supported bills to legalize marijuana, or send it to the voters for a referendum. Bell says it could be that a lot of candidates get plenty of surveys, and chose not to respond; or one of their campaign aides didn’t send it their way.
Bell says political leanings and ideology have nothing to do with this issue. “Republican candidates got an A-Plus; Democratic candidates got an F. It’s not necessarily conservative or liberal, or Republican or Democrat,” she says.
But candidates who didn’t get a chance to answer the survey can still do so by going on line to www.MarylandCannibisProject.org. It was a follow up to a similar survey done for Democratic candidates running for Governor.
Bell says everyone should be concerned about this issue, even if they don’t use marijuana. “Your tax dollars are being spent on arresting people for consuming a substance that’s safer than alcohol,” she says. “And once that person is arrested, that’s not the end of the story. It has an impact on that person’s ability to get housing, to find a job.”
Here’s how the local candidates fared in the survey:
House of Delegates 3A:
Delegates Carol Krimm and Karen Lewis Young did not respond, although Young has supported bills to legalize marijuana, or let the voters decide in a referendum. There was also no response from candidate Mike Boweresox, but Ryan Trout received an A-Plus for his support legalizing marijuana, or letting the issue be decided in a referendum.
House of Delegates 3B:
Delegate Bill Folden did not respond to the survey. But challenger Ken Kerr received an A-Plus for his support of legalizing marijuana.
Senate District 3
No response for challengers Billy Shreve and Greg Giangrande and Jennifer Brennan. But Senator Ron Young and candidate Jennifer Dougherty both received grades of A on the issue.
Senate District 4
No response for Senator Michael Hough, or challengers;Jessica Douglass or Sabrina Massett.
House of Delegates District 4
No response from Delegate Barrie Ciliberti, or challengers Dan Cox, Jesse Pippy or Darrin Ryan Smith. Yselo Bruno received a B-Plus for supporting legalization, regulation and taxing marijuana, but needed more input on whether to cultivate the plant at home.
By Kevin McManus