State’s attorney questioned on marijuana legalization

At a recent appearance at a Canton Community Association meeting, State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein was asked a direct question:

“What is your position on the legalization of marijuana, and how would it change your job?” asked a resident.

“Alright,” responded Bernstein with a smile and a wave, heading for the door. “It was nice seeing you all!”

After residents laughed at his joke, he got to work answering the question, first noting that it was a “complicated” one.

“Do you legalize it or simply decriminalize it?” Bernstein said. “If you legalize it, what’s the system you’re going to put in place—who’s going to grow it?”

He said that Colorado and Washington, two states that recently legalized marijuana, are “great incubators.”

“Let’s see how this works,” he said.

Bernstein noted that since legalization, there has been an uptick in children coming to school under the influence of marijuana.

He said that for the police in Baltimore, the illegality of marijuana is a “tool.”
“Possession of marijuana is used for probable cause for stops, and leads to seizures of guns and warrant arrests,” he said.

On the overall question of legalizing or decriminalizing the drug, Bernstein said, “We certainly seem to be headed in that direction. I’m not necessarily adverse to that, but I do think we need to be deliberate.”

by Erik Zygmont

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