WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Politics Hour - March 7, 2014

D.C. lawmakers vote to decriminalize marijuana. Maryland's House of Delegates ponders raising the state's minimum wage. And Virginia Republicans seek a special session to resolve a dispute over expanding Medicaid in the Old Dominion. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

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Delman Coates, a Democratic candidate for Maryland lieutenant governor, said he and his running mate for governor, Heather Mizeur, support marijuana legalization in the state. Coates said his campaign doesn't see decriminalization as the right course for Maryland because it wouldn't stop the profitable underground drug economy. Marijuana legalization is a public health issue, not a public safety one, Coates said, and the central question for lawmakers is whether marijuana users should be incarcerated for their actions. "Prohibition doesn't work. We believe that legalization -- if we legalize, tax and regulate marijuana -- this is the appropriate step," Coates said.

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