DRCNetDrug Reform Coordination Network


ALERT: Insane Drug War Bills in
Maryland Legislature

The Maryland state legislature is considering a set of draconian drug war bills, some of which have already passed the Senate and have moved on to the House. Marylanders please call or write your legislators in opposition to the expansion of the drug war.

The most urgent bills needing your opposition are SB71 and SB72, both of which have passed the Senate and were heard in the House this week. SB71 raises the maximum penalty for bringing at least 10 pounds of marijuana into the state to a $50,000 fine and 25 years in prison. SB72 raises the maximum penalty for mere possession or use of marijuana to a year in prison and a $10,000 fine (1st offense) or 4 years in prison and a $25,000 fine (2nd offense).

Please contact your State Delegates and ask them to oppose SB71 and SB72 -- tell them putting people in prison for marijuana is insane.

Two bills that are less urgent but more draconian have been introduced in the house. HB333 creates a MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE OF LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE for anyone convicted of involving a minor in a drug offense involving a quantity that would indicate intent to distribute. HB332 creates a sentence of up to 20 years and a $50,000 fine for the same offense.

Please ask your Delegates to oppose HB332 and HB333. Tell them that the sentences are too harsh, unwisely take discretion away from judges, and will crowd the prisons with nonviolent offenders. Tell them the reason drug sellers use minors is because the sentences have been made so harsh for adults.

Individuals with web access can find out who their legislators are, send e-mail to those who have e-mail, and check the status of bills, through the Maryland General Assembly at http://mlis.state.md.us/ on the web.

You can call your legislators or find out they are by calling the General Assembly Switchboard at (410) 841-3000. Letters to your legislators can be addressed to:

House action could take place on SB71 and SB72 any day now, so please take your action right away. And please send copies to DRCNet, to help us gauge the extent of our reach and effectiveness.

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