Hey Baltimore City! Have you heard the news?
The Baltimore City State’s Attorney has decided to no longer prosecute cannabis possession. That didn’t take long. Hopefully you read that as sarcasm. In her announcement she mentioned that there is no link between cannabis possession and violent crime, and she believes the time, money and efforts are better spent going after violent offenders. While her office will still prosecute cannabis dealers for distribution and intent to distribute, they will no longer prosecute possession regardless of weight or past criminal history.
“No one,” Mosby said, “thinks spending resources to jail people for marijuana is a good use of our limited time and resources.”
This seems like a good and logical step to decriminalizing cannabis. However, the Baltimore City Police Commissioner has a different take on decriminalizing cannabis. In response to the City States Attorney’s announcement the Police Commissioner stated that the city police would continue to make arrests for cannabis possession until the laws were changed. He believes it is his job is to enforce the laws on the books and cannabis is still illegal. Well, unless you are a legal patient in Maryland!
“Baltimore Police will continue to make arrests for illegal marijuana possession unless and until the state legislature changes the law regarding marijuana possession,” he said in a statement.
He isn’t wrong, but his stance and it’s contrast with the prosecutor’s office does create a major problem. Are people possessing illegal cannabis going to be arrested only to never be charged? What message does this send to police officers making these arrests? What’s the point? Why bother wasting time, effort, and resources arresting someone for an offense that will never be prosecuted? It serves no one. Jay walking is still illegal, but I see dozens of people doing it every day, sometimes right in front of the police. They don’t seem to be detained or ticketed for it. My guess is the police have bigger fish to fry and don’t waste their time on such petty things. Looks like cannabis possession is in the same boat.
This is another example of how broken our system is, especially when it comes to cannabis. The laws certainly need to be changed. Cannabis is a safe and natural medicine that shouldn’t be forbidden by government. The laws are already a mess with cannabis being recreationally legal in some states, medically legal in others, and yet a jail able offense in others. The Federal ban on cannabis obviously means nothing as it is legally available in many states. Well it does mean something. Mostly that legally operated businesses are unable to obtain banking, insurance, and other necessities that all other businesses take for granted. Legislators need to come together and legalize this wonderful medicine once and for all. People should have the power to choose the medicines they want to use. Not the government.
The Biggest Lie
I have heard several reactions to this announcement and I still can’t believe some of the mis-information so called experts are spewing. It’s become embarrassing to watch people of a respected stature blatantly give false information. Time and time again I have heard the myth that cannabis use leads to harder drug use like heroin. This is the biggest lie out there. Don’t be fooled. This excerpt was taken directly from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse page:
The majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other “harder” substances, like cocaine or heroin. However, some research shows that people often try marijuana before trying other substances.
If you believe that cannabis use leads to harder drug use, consider this. Based off the research we have and that logic, if the people that use harder drugs also ate pizza, we could conclude that eating pizza leads to heroin use. My point is that there is no evidence that cannabis use leads to harder drug use. In fact, most cannabis users never go on to use harder drugs as the NIH’s information clearly states. So why do people keep calling cannabis a gateway drug? Why do people still believe it? If they looked a little closer, they’d see that cannabis is a gateway for many people to get off opioids and other harmful and sometimes deadly drugs. They would also see the difference cannabis makes in people’s lives. I have personally seen patients aging in range from 2 years old to 92 years old benefit from medical cannabis. Don’t take my word alone for it. There is a plethora of good credible websites that have great information on the benefits of cannabis. This is the information age, do your research and know your facts. It’s time to stop allowing people to spread lies and mis-information about cannabis.