State of Maryland Archives: on Drugs
Created the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force
Three years ago, when not many people were paying any attention, we began to shine a spotlight on the rapidly growing heroin and opioid crisis. Just under the surface of every community across our state and across the nation, heroin and opioid abuse has
been taking lives and tearing apart families and communities.
One of my first acts as governor was to create the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force. We have gone after it from every angle including education, treatment, interdiction, and law
enforcement. We have made strides, but this crisis continues to grow out of control all across our country.
We can--and we must--do more to save the lives of Marylanders. We need your help to enact the multi-pronged
Heroin Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiative and to pass the Prescriber Limits Act of 2017 and the Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Death Act.
Source: 2017 State of the State address to Maryland Legislature
Feb 1, 2017
Served as counter-narcotics deputy under George W. Bush
In the George W. Bush Administration, Rich was deputy assistant secretary of defense for counter-narcotics and counter-proliferation. Rich is an Iraq veteran and also served as senior lawyer at three U.S. Senate committees,
working for principled legends like the late Jesse Helms. One of the few to serve on Capitol Hill with experience in both the mechanical trades and the armed forces, Rich is genuinely alarmed over Congress's abandonment of American workers.
Source: 2016 Campaign website for MD Senate, DouglasMaryland.com
Nov 11, 2015
Keep mandatory sentencing for drug offenses
HB 121 Amends Mandatory Sentences for Certain Drug Offenses
Bill Passed House (85-55); Rep. Kathy Szeliga voted Nay.
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2015-2016 Maryland voting records
Mar 23, 2015
- Repeals the mandatory sentence of at least 10 years imprisonment for first and second time convictions for distributing
or dispensing a dangerous controlled substance;
- Requires an individual convicted of drug offenses to be sentenced to at least 2 years imprisonment, and a maximum imprisonment of 20 years or a maximum fine of $100,000, for first or second offenses
Executive Order to address this heroin epidemic
Throughout our state, I hear the devastating stories from our families and friends who hurt from the devastation heroin has wreaked on our communities. From our smallest town to our biggest city, it has become an epidemic, and it is destroying lives.
I have tasked Lt. Governor Rutherford with bringing together all of the stakeholders in order to come up with a plan to tackle this emergency. Later this month, we will execute an executive order to address this heroin epidemic.
Source: State of the State address to 2015 Maryland Legislature
Feb 4, 2015
Voted NO on reducing penalties for possession of marijuana
SB 364 Reduces Penalties for Possession of Marijuana
Bill Passed House (78 - 55); Rep. Kathy Szeliga voted Nay.
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2013-2014 Maryland voting records
Apr 5, 2014
- Reduces the penalty for a first offense of possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana to a fine of $100 from a maximum
prison sentence of 90 days, a fine up to $500, or both.
- Classifies the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana as a civil offense punishable by a maximum fine of $250 for a second offense; and a maximum fine of
$500 and for a third or subsequent offense.
- Requires an individual less than 21 years of age who violates a provision of this bill or an individual older than 21 who commits a third or subsequent offense to perform the following actions:
Attend a drug education program;
- Perform an assessment for substance abuse disorder; and
- Enter substance abuse treatment.
Baltimore recovered from open-air drug markets
In a speech to New Hampshire Democrats on Saturday, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) compared the distressed mind-set of Baltimore when he took over as mayor in 1999 to that of the nation today.
O'Malley told a crowd of close to 1,000 party activists
here that the city he sought to lead had succumbed to a "culture of failure," with open-air drug markets, a soaring murder count and citizens "wallowing in a sense that nothing would work."
Baltimore in 1999, we as Americans are going through a cynical time of disbelief, a time with more excuses and ideology than cooperation or action," O'Malley said in his keynote address at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner. "We seem to have lost
the shared conviction we once had that we actually have the ability to make things better together. There is a big difference between the America we carry in our hearts, and the America we see in our headlines."
Source: Washington Post on 2014 Maryland gubernatorial race
Nov 17, 2013
More enforcement against Drug Trafficking
End Drug Trafficking:
Source: 2006 Senate website, michaelsteeleformaryland.com, “Issues”
Oct 25, 2006
- Increase and expand the High Intensity Drug Trafficking grant the Baltimore-Washington area receives, so police have the resources they need to target drug dealers and gang members who traffic narcotics.
Increase funding for programs that rehabilitate drug addicts and get them the help they need to return to being productive members of society.
Page last updated: Feb 28, 2017