The chief prosecutor in the city of Baltimore has announced that people will no longer be prosecuted for possessing marijuana. This announcement comes as a wave legalization is sweeping across the nation, and marijuana is no longer seen as the evil substance that it once was thought to be.
Marilyn Mosby, state attorney for Baltimore, revealed that her office will immediately stop prosecuting cases of marijuana possession. This decision will apply regardless of how much marijuana someone has been found with, or what the criminal history of that person is.
Mosby added that no serious person can ever claim that devoting the city’s scarce law enforcement resources to prosecuting marijuana possession cases is a good way to use taxpayers’ money.
Baltimore has the unenviable record of being the major city across the country with the highest homicide rates, with most of those homicides going unsolved. Mosby wants to focus a lot more on solving those violent crimes instead of being bogged down by marijuana possession cases.
The chief prosecutor admitted that the city’s law enforcement agencies take a huge hit in terms of their public image each time murders go unsolved and yet they are seen vigilantly going after people possessing marijuana.
She gave the example of what a mother whose son has just died because of gun violence. Such a mother cannot condone the allocation of resources to prosecuting marijuana possession cases instead of using those very resources to investigate and bring violent crime down.
However, there may be a showdown brewing between the city prosecutor and the men and women of the police department over this change in policy. Gary Tuggle, the Police Commissioner of Baltimore, insisted that his department will continue making marijuana possession arrests until the legislature changes the law about the matter.
This potential standoff is a tricky one to resolve because each side may have valid arguments to support it. For example, the prosecutor sees that it doesn’t make sense to keep fighting something that is hardly harmful to the public, while the police is doing its work of enforcing the laws as passed by the legislature.
The question is, what will happen once suspects are arrested by the police and the prosecutor refuses to sanction any charges against those individuals?
The best way out is for these two sister departments to find a middle ground on this issue so that ordinary people aren’t caught in the crosshairs as the elephants fight. Such a stalemate isn’t in the best interest of the marijuana industry, including the likes of The Green Organic Dutchman (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF).
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