March 21 // Suzanne Quintero: Medical cannabis delays hurt patients

It has now been four years since Gov. Martin O'Malley signed legislation to establish the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission in Maryland. It has been, without question, the slowest rollout of a medical cannabis program by any of the 26 states that have legalized medical cannabis. Since it was established and voted on by the General Assembly, the commission has overseen a lengthy, independent process to award pre-approval to pursue licenses to growers, processors and dispensaries. During this time, numerous public meetings were held, input was provided by legislators and the attorney general's office, and Towson University's Regional Economic Studies Institute was enlisted to evaluate applicants through a double-blind process. (Balt. Sun)

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Laslo Boyd: The Trump administration–where truth goes to die

At a recent White House press briefing, a reporter asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer whether Donald Trump could be relied on to tell the truth. Spicer, in a response that sounds directly out of “Alice in Wonderland” said “yes, unless he’s joking.” Trump may be many things, but no one has ever accused him of being a stand-up comedian. Claims that he was just joking have come only well after the fact when he and his minions try to excuse away a particularly indefensible statement. (From a Certain Point of View)

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Maryland Democrats predictable on redistricting

Democrats in a key House committee on Monday killed Gov. Larry Hogan's proposal to assign the redrawing of Maryland's congressional districts to a nonpartisan commission. The 18-5 party-line vote by the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee surprised no one. The Democratic leadership of the General Assembly may realize that public sentiment has turned against gerrymandering — even the former governor who masterminded the process last time has come out against it. But they still find the tool politically indispensable. (Capital)

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Sen. Jennings: Maryland Healthy Working Families Act “will impede job growth in the state and stop businesses from creating additional jobs”

It was business as usual in Annapolis this week despite a late season snow storm that blanketed much of the State. As we near the end of the legislative session, days are getting longer and committees in both the Senate and the House are on overdrive to meet the annual deadline to pass bills out of their chambers to be sent to the other. This event, known as “Crossover Day,” takes place today, Monday, March 20, 2017, where it allows for the greatest chance for bills to be turned into laws. (Dagger)

 

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Deborah Simmons: School rape case raises important questions

Much of the heated discussion about America and its immigration laws turns on Hispanics and Muslims, and people with Hispanic-sounding names and Muslim-sounding names. Let’s look at an issue that also is worthy of serious deliberation. Are people who they claim to be? Who are these people who make into the United States? Do they come here with legitimate identification? Or do we “legitimize” them after they arrive? Those are the most significant questions following a recent rape at a Maryland high school. (Wash. Times)

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Aarti Sardana: MSDE school discipline proposal fails students

The Maryland State Department of Education acknowledges that African American students and those with disabilities are disproportionately suspended throughout the state — and that it's a problem, often leading to academic disengagement and involvement with the criminal justice system. But MSDE's solution won't improve the situation. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore County's long legacy of segregation

Baltimore County has a history of overt racial segregation. In the 1970s, it was famously described by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as a "white noose" around the city. The county executive at the time made keeping blacks out a central policy goal of his administration. Real estate agents were at one point actually instructed to inform the police chief if they sold Baltimore County homes to blacks. The residents of southwestern Baltimore County who were involved in the debate over redistricting elementary schools, as depicted in a Sun investigation by Liz Bowie and Erica Green, were separated from those policies and practices by nearly half a century. (Balt. Sun)

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March 20 // Will Baker: It's madness

CBF President Will Baker reacts to news that the Trump Administration is proposing to eliminate ALL funding to EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program. We will fight with every fiber in our bodies to see that Congress rejects this Bay budget and maintains a program that has achieved so much and is poised to save one of the world's greatest natural resources. (youtube.com)

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