“Better late than never”
The signing of legislation legalizing cannabis in Maryland marks a mile post in a long strange trip for one Republican former delegate turned marijuana policy advocate.
Don Murphy, a former lawmaker from Baltimore County, once sponsored legislation two decades ago that made it possible for someone arrested for possession of the drug to argue it was for medicinal purposes.
“It was Maryland’s first acknowledgement that marijuana had medicinal value,” said Murphy, reflecting on the 2003 law signed by then Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich (R) the year after Murphy left the legislature. “Here we are 20 years later going, ‘It doesn’t matter, have a nice day, have fun. And we’re going to stop arresting people,’ and all that. In perspective, it’s a shame as we think of all the people whose lives have been ruined in the meantime. But better late than never.”
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