By Steve Elliott
Longtime Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has thrown his support behind marijuana legalization.
Sen. Miller (D-Calvert), who has presided over the chamber for more than 25 years, said on Friday that he would support a bill allowing the regulated sale of cannabis, similar to what is now taking place in Colorado, reports John Wagner at The Washington Post.
"I favor the legalization and taxation of marijuana, with restrictions," Miller said. "I know where people are going to be a generation or two from now."
Miller said that while a legalization bill would stand a good chance in the Maryland Senate, he thinks the going would be much tougher in the House, and that Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, who rose to fame as the "tough-on-crime" mayor of Baltimore, "is always slow on issues like this."
"Quite frankly, I don't see it passing," Miller said. The Senator has a conservative record on most social issues, having voted against same-sex marriage and repeal of the death penalty in recent years.
Last year, the Maryland Senate approved a bill that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana on a 30-16 vote. The bill would have reduced the penalty for possession to a civil fine of up to $100, but the measure died in the House.