Skip to comments.Dem whip Hoyer: Keep pot illegal
Posted on 01/12/2014 10:49:32 AM PST by Libloather
Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer (D) this week said he's opposed to laws legalizing marijuana.
While Maryland legislators are expected to take up several proposals to legalize the drug this year, the Democratic minority whip said he's concerned its a gateway to harsher narcotics.
"I'm not a proponent of the legalization of marijuana," Hoyer said Thursday during a taping of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program, which will air Sunday.
The position puts Hoyer on the same page as Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), but at odds with a recent shift in public opinion.
O'Malley said earlier in the week that he's "not much in favor" of the legalization proposals members of the state's General Assembly plan to introduce in both chambers this year.
Ive seen what drug addiction has done to the people of our state and the people of our city, O'Malley said Wednesday in an interview with Baltimore's WEAA radio station.
Public sentiment, meanwhile, has shifted sharply in favor of legalization in recent years. A CNN/Opinion Research poll released Monday found that 55 percent of Americans support the move to legalize the drug up 12 points from 2012 and 39 points from 25 years ago.
A Gallup poll released in October put the level of support at 58 percent.
Interest in decriminalizing marijuana has skyrocketed since voters in Colorado and Washington state voted last year to legalize the drug for recreational use.
While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the Justice Department announced last year that it wouldnt attempt to block state efforts to legalize it. Colorado venders began selling it openly on Jan. 1.
"By regulating marijuana like alcohol, Colorado voters hope to reduce crime and keep marijuana away from kids," Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said as the sales began.
Along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Polis has sponsored legislation to eliminate the federal laws criminalizing the drug.
At least 18 other states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana to some extent, though most of those laws relate to the treatment of medical conditions and require a doctor's prescription.
Hoyer this week noted that a former Baltimore mayor, Kurt Schmoke, had advocated for legalizing pot several decades ago. Hoyer said he supported that move at the time, but has since changed his tune based on his discussions with drug-treatment experts.
"My initial reaction was a positive one," Hoyer said. "Then as I talked to people who deal with drug abuse issues, with rehabilitation issues, I became convinced that marijuana was, in fact, a threshold drug and that it would lead to the use of harder, very harmful drugs.".
There’s no reason to keep it illegal.
Wow! The first time I’ve ever agreed with this guy.
Hoyer doesn’t care about stoned kids, but the thought of giving up a large chunk of federal police, or relinquishing a little grip on tyranny terrifies him.
Yeah can't wait to walk thru somebodies THC laced second hand smoke. /
What an idiot. When I was a Prosecutor I bet 90% of Prosecutors and Officer thought it should be legal.
I agree but I think hoyer is being paid by those that wish to keep their trade illegal and highly profitable. I do not think that he cares about the damage drugs do to youth.
I could only agree with you under three conditions:
1. No social benefits of any sort goes to fund or support the people using such drugs. This would be similar to an employer not hiring someone because of their drug use.
2. All crimes committed while under the influence of a voluntarily taken recreational drug are considered premeditated.
3. A torture penalty is enacted that prescribes three times the torture back to whatever somebody under such influence provided another. This is Biblical.
Especially considering the remarkable lack of successs the war on drugs has had in limiting availability. Anybody that wants pot can get it now anyways.
Then avoid areas where that may happen if it bothers you so much.
If you do not like something, then do not go where that something is likely to occur.
Um, seems pretty radical.
Agreed on number 1.
Not agreed on number 2. Seems like being unable to cite being high as a defense would be quite a bit more reasonable.
Smoking weed doesn’t make people torture people, Evil makes people torture people, and torturing someone who tortured someone else only serves to increase the total amount of torture (Evil) in this world.
Let’s not be psychopaths please ;/
So then a person would be free to do whatever they want on public property...for example in front of your house.
And if you don't like it then you should not leave your house.
If as an adult I decide that I’m going to smoke some pot, then I’m going to smoke some pot, and that’s all there is to it.
No one is currently free to do anything they want on my property.
You know, it seems to me that you are just being intentionally stupid and purposely providing examples that mean nothing.
I see no further need to converse with you about this.
You can guarantee that no babies, childen or pets will EVER be exposed to THC- laced second hand smoke?
You can guarantee that no one will EVER fail a drug test from being exposed to THC-laced second hand smoke from a roommate or from the apartment next door? You can guarantee that NO ONE will ever lost their jobs because of this?
You can guarantee that no semi driver will ever be on a busy highway after smoke legal recreational pot?
How many semi drivers who smoked legal recreational pot, in your opinion, is it safe to have on a stretch of, say, 5 miles of a busy interstate? Where your spouse, parents, children or significant other is also driving?
Please tell me how you plan to insure that none of these ‘unintended consequences’ will result from legalized pot use. I can’t wait to hear it.
I never made any claim that I would insure such.
What sane person would make such a claim?
No one is currently free to do anything they want on my property. You know, it seems to me that you are just being intentionally stupid and purposely providing examples that mean nothing.
In my example I specifically said "on public" property.
I said nothing whatsoever about on your private private.
It was your response that was stupid...and I'm not sure if it was intentional.
Surely the first time I’ve ever agreed with this moron.
Partially due to self-interest, however. Because if I happen to walk over to my local park and encounter two damned degenerates smoking their dope, I’ve very liable to personally crack their skulls open. The trouble for me that would ensue from such an action is alone enough reason for me to want to keep dope illegal.
What if your spouse elects to smoke legal recreational pot? Do you leave the house for the duration? Does he/she? Where do the children play and sleep, when parent is using recreational pot, that guarantees they will not in any way be exposed to the smoke?
I’m just curious. Oh, and if it’s legal, does that mean folks can light up in public places like restaurants and bars? Should everyone else have to clear out to avoid being tagged with the smoke?
How are you going to regulate this ‘avoid areas’ thing if it is legal? That means, to most people, that it can occur ANYWHERE. Thus your comment, ‘do not go where that something is likely to occur’ must mean that anyone who has concerns about losing a job after testing positive to pot, via second-hand smoke, must move out of the state?
Really? That’s all you got? ‘do not go where etcetc’. Great solution, if you are idiot, which I hope you are not.
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