Open borders. Marijuana. Relaxed rules on bail, lifer parole, and criminal sentencing. Anti-police legislators. It’s great to be a gangster in Maryland! Aspirations to make Maryland a sanctuary for undocumented migrants are getting rave reviews from the “maras” and the transnational human trafficking cartels which smuggle men, women, and children into our state.
Thanks to revenue from Maryland’s successful slots casinos, the state’s thoroughbred racing industry has seen a re-birth that hints at prosperity for the Free State’s billion-dollar horse industry in future decades. To keep those good times a-rollin’, though, will require a major investment by Annapolis political leaders and by their counterparts in Baltimore City.
“To respect the land” was one of the four basic goals for Columbia often repeated by developer James Rouse more than 50 years ago as he pitched his proposal “to build a complete city” on 14,000 acres of farmland, woods and stream valleys. The goals seem almost a contradiction. If he wanted to “respect the land,” why not just leave the fields and forest as they were? Because they were not going to stay that way for long as suburban development spread from Baltimore and Washington along the new interstate highways.
The reasons for the election of Donald Trump as president can be better understood by an analysis of voting patterns in Maryland counties. Hillary Clinton received 60% of the total Maryland vote and President Trump 36%. However, 17 of the 24 Maryland counties voted for Trump and 7 voted for Clinton. An analysis of the counties that voted for each candidate found little influence of campaign issues and little change in voter behavior compared to the 2012 presidential election. Maryland is distinguished by the great variety in its regional economies.
Many communities in Maryland are openly flouting federal laws regarding immigration by establishing themselves as “sanctuary cities,” and, by doing so; they are creating a troublesome precedent. These “sanctuary cities” often prohibit their police from notifying federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they have detained an illegal immigrant. They encourage local police not to turn over illegal immigrants in their custody to federal officials because they might start deportation proceedings against them. The stated purpose of these policies is to make illegal immigrants feel safe and welcome. That they thwart the enforcement of duly enacted federal immigration laws—and that immigration policy is the exclusive bailiwick of the federal government—doesn’t enter into the mix. Nor, it seems, do broader public safety concerns. The news frequently includes stories about illegal immigrants who were protected by these policies going on to commit crimes—often with tragic consequences.
Maryland lawmakers are once again considering legislation to regulate the adult use and sale of marijuana to those age 21 or older. Nearly six in 10 residents support this reform, according to a February Goucher poll. But opponents charge that doing so could pose a risk to traffic safety. Such concerns are not all together unfounded, but deserve to be placed in proper context.
It had to be one of the most painful and humiliating moments of Dan Morhaim’s life. Last Friday he sat in the House of Delegates chamber as his colleagues voted 138-0 to reprimand him for not informing them and a state commission he had a conflict of interest on medical marijuana issues.
America is on the verge of a transportation revolution powered by self-driving technology. As this industry takes shape, Maryland’s elected leaders are facing a serious question this legislative session: Will the Old Line State embrace the future, or get left behind?
Environmentalists view hydraulic fracturing of black Marcellus shale in mountainous Garrett County as pure evil sure to pollute drinking water, pristine streams, the health of citizens and lay waste to 100,000 acres in the state’s most remote county. Proponents say that’s buncombe. Done safely and with plenty of state oversight, “fracking” as it is called can be accomplished – and is accomplished all over the country – without damning side effects. The fight over a permanent ban continues this year in Annapolis.