Opinion: It’s great to be a gangster in Maryland!

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By Richard J. Douglas

For MarylandReporter.com

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. The chief architect of nationwide immigration chaos — Congress — lolls on the sidelines while the White House, State House  and county executives toil over the wreckage.

Americans seeking work in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County are treated to the sight of undocumented foreigners working state- or federally-funded construction projects in their own neighborhoods.

Fake document factories and clandestine brothels catering to the undocumented thrive. American “community leaders” who ought to be raising hell? They’re squabbling over the marijuana pie in the General Assembly. It’s great to be a gangster in Maryland!

Race to the bottom 

Speaking of marijuana, Maryland is in a race to the bottom in the effort to remove remaining state controls on this powerful gateway drug (pay no attention to the federal law and constitutional Supremacy Clause. Yet).

Four decades of drug abuse, devastated families and cities, corruption, and drug-related crime are lost on clueless Maryland legislators cut off from the real world. In a state with a heroin crisis, the General Assembly’s message of “no limits” is the wrong message. But it is the message the criminal element loves to hear. See why it’s great to be a gangster in Maryland?

Wondering what former Attorney General Eric Holder has been up to since leaving the Obama Administration? In January, he was in Annapolis urging Maryland’s high court to support bail reform in Maryland. “Bail reform” is code for “cut him loose if he can’t pay.”

On Feb. 7, the court adopted a new bail rule. In short, if you can persuade a Maryland judge or district court commissioner that you are broke, harmless, and won’t run (Scout’s honor!), the new Maryland rule of construction for bail requires release. The new rule will be getting a test drive soon in your neighborhood. Another reason it’s great to be a gangster in Maryland!

Early out

Another Maryland gangster benefit is “early out” legislation passed in the Maryland General Assembly last year and coming into effect in October. Sixteen hundred “non-violent” drug offenders will be eligible for release this year because Maryland’s General Assembly abolished mandatory sentencing minimums.

This move is a mortal blow to deterrence, and will increase drug distribution in vulnerable Maryland neighborhoods. And the drug culture is supposedly “non-violent”? Ask the widows and orphans in Baltimore City, Prince George’s County, Mexico, and Colombia.

Another gangster “win” in Maryland is coming soon. The General Assembly is considering a bill now which would strip authority (what’s left of it) from the governor over parole determinations for convicts serving Maryland life sentences. Victims’ families might not be too enthusiastic about this gem, but hey, why ask them? Gangsters have rights too!

Implacably anti-police 

Next we turn to the Maryland General Assembly’s police problem: it seems implacably anti-police.

Last year, anti-police crusaders in the General Assembly majority did their best to scale back administrative due process for police officers accused of improper conduct in the line of duty. A federal consent decree on policing in Baltimore further hemmed in law enforcement in Maryland’s toughest city.

Meanwhile federal, state and local leaders ignored the other consent decree — the one on stormwater and sewage — that has caused far more destruction to low-income Baltimore neighborhoods than the police ever will. See? It’s great to be a gangster in Maryland!

Last, but by no means least, we give you Maryland’s intrepid gttorney General, Brian Frosh. Human trafficking enablers. American kids who can’t find work. Marijuana. Corrupt contractors. Drug trafficking. Relaxation of bail, parole, and sentencing standards. Anti-police activism on the floor of the Maryland General Assembly. Roping off the cops in Baltimore. How has Attorney General Frosh responded?

By suing President Trump.

It’s great to be a gangster in Maryland!

Richard Douglas, an Iraq veteran, served as U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for counter-narcotics and as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and 2016.