Monday, July 3, 2023

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (Maryland Cannabis Edition)

You know the drill. You go to a new doctor and you fill out the forms. All the forms. Medical history, your parents’ medical history. Records of inoculations, allergies to medications…and then there’s this:


Do you drink?

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Coke/Pepsi
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Liquor


Do you, or have you ever?

  • Smoked cigarettes
  • Smoked marijuana
  • Taken hallucinogens (PCP or LSD)
  • Taken sedatives (downers/valium)
  • Taken stimulants (amphetamines/cocaine)
  • Taken narcotics (heroin)
  • Taken herbs
  • Sniffed glue/paint


What do you do for fun, recreation, or hobbies?

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Friends, by the time I got to this page I was already punchy. When I got to the bottom of the second section I actually laughed. It felt like an outburst from a disappointed interrogator.

Well, what do you do for fun, then?

Juxtaposition is everything. I’m not sure that last question belonged in a section about substance use. 

In case you hadn’t already guessed, I’m thinking about the legalization of marijuana that went into effect on July first. The ever-helpful Baltimore Sun published an article about where you’ll be able to find it. 

Where to buy recreational cannabis in Maryland, Dan Belson, Baltimore Sun

I’m laughing at myself a bit here because there’s a part of me - - deep down inside - - that is afraid to even Google this information in case I might tip off the authorities. To be honest, back when computers occasionally announced: You Have Performed an Illegal Operation I fully expected to hear police sirens any minute. 

Anyway, back to local cannabis. From the Sun article:

Remedy Columbia: 8865 Stanford Blvd. #131 Columbia, MD 21045

Curaleaf Columbia: 7090 Deepage Drive, Columbia, MD 21045

Greenhouse Wellness: 4801 Dorsey Hall Drive Suite 110, Ellicott City, MD 21042

Trilogy Wellness of Maryland: 9291 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042

Ascend Ellicott City: 10169 Baltimore National Pike Ellicott City, MD 21042

Revolution Releaf: 9994 Washington Blvd., Laurel, MD 20723

Zen Leaf Elkridge: 6000 Marshalee Drive, Elkridge, MD 21075  

While contemplating this new development I found myself trying to put my thoughts into words on Twitter.

I don’t care about marijuana. It’s not my thing and smoke makes me sick. But if we can stop criminalizing Marylanders by race when it comes to weed, I’d be thrilled.

Out of the blue came this response from someone I do not know:

They got tinctures and edibles and a bunch of stuff non smokers can use to enjoy the medical benefits.

At this point I felt about a hundred years old. But I made a last ditch effort to clarify my point.

I’m sure there’s plenty I don’t know! I guess I’m saying that what matters most to me is righting the wrongs done by disproportionate prosecutions.

That is what matters most to me. Marijuana use is about equal in Black people and white people. Yet arrests of Black people are far higher for the same offense. This persists today even in states with legalized marijuana. 

The War on Marijuana in Black and White, ACLU, 2013

 A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform, ACLU, 2020

How will that play out in Maryland, particularly Columbia/HoCo? Using “suspicion of weed” is no longer a legal pretext for searching cars and detaining drivers, according to a newly-passed Maryland law.  Will that be a hard habit for police to break? Entrenched behaviors can take time to change. Will we see a significant reduction in these kinds of racially motivated traffic stops or will they persist in some other guise, with some other excuse?

I don’t know. We’re in new territory here. 

Do I have opinions about marijuana use? Sure. I have opinions about alcohol use, too. But that’s way too heavy for a Monday morning.

Back to the questionnaire. What do you do for fun, recreation, or hobbies? I keep an art journal, go to concerts and events at the Chrysalis, read tons of mysteries from the library. Oh, and I write a blog.

Village Green/Town² Comments 

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