November 20, 2013 at 11:34 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Mizeur seeks to legalize marijuana in Maryland
Heather Mizeur, Delman Coates, Montgomery County, Silver Spring, Maryland, Maryland House of Delegates, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur on Tuesday announced she supports the legalization of marijuana in the state.

The Montgomery County Democrat who represents Silver Spring and Takoma Park in the Maryland House of Delegates said her proposal that includes taxing the drug would raise $157.5 million a year. Mizeur said her administration would spend these additional funds on early childhood education in Maryland.

Mizeur told Bruce DePuyt of News Channel 8 on Tuesday that black Marylanders are disproportionately targeted under the state’s current marijuana laws.

“Marijuana’s time as a controlled, illegal substance really has run its course,” she said. “We know marijuana laws have ruined lives. They’re enforced with racial bias and they distract law enforcement from serious and violent crimes.”

The Montgomery County Democrat unveiled her plan to legalize marijuana in the state less than a week after she formally announced Rev. Delman Coates of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton as her running mate.

Mizeur will face Attorney General Doug Gansler and Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown in the state Democratic primary in June. She could become the country’s first elected openly gay governor.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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