Don't let Sessions turn back the clock on medical marijuana

How ironic is it that conservatives who routinely criticize the federal government’s allegedly heavy-handed intrusions into state and local affairs seem to have no problem with such interventions when the overreach happens to advance policies dear to their own hearts? This year we’ve seen a lot of this kind of back-and-forth, including the Trump administration’s insistence on punishing so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to go out of their way to assist in the White House’s harsh immigration policies. Another example surfaced last week with reports that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is urging Congress to make medical marijuana programs illegal in Maryland and the 30 other jurisdictions that have approved legislation shielding use of the drug for medicinal purposes from criminal prosecution. (Balt. Sun)

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Public housing in Annapolis passes a crucial turning point

Public housing is often talked about in city elections, but the amount of rhetoric has traditionally been inversely proportional to what the city government can actually do about federally owned and managed properties, or to what the mayor and aldermen are willing to try. After Election Day, not much changes, unless you count the recurring management problems at the Housing Authority for the City of Annapolis or the way the agency’s properties deteriorate. But the status quo is finally crumbling, as can be seen in today’s election primer story on the city’s public housing. (Capital)

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Ocean City puts up with a lot, but H2Oi went beyond

Ocean City locals and tourists have complained long and loud about the noise and rowdy behavior that comes with its various car shows and motorcycle events. It's true: Gatherings of car enthusiasts are neither tame nor quiet.  But the economic boost they bring to the resort, especially during the offseason (which is no longer a guarantee of quiet or solitude) had been a compelling counter-argument. This October, after a last-minute cancellation of the annual H2O International car show, Ocean City learned an unexpected lesson about how much control it has over the folks who come for these events. (Daily Times)

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October 13 // Del. Luke Clippinger: Why sick leave can't wait

I pondered how to begin writing what I knew needed to be said. And then it came to me – I will start with how this issue arises for most people. I got sick. Cancer turned my life upside down and forced me to stop, slow down, and reevaluate so much. This took time. I needed the sick leave that I receive through my job as a States’ Attorney. I was fortunate; many people are not. (Our Maryland)

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John Snook: Maryland fails those with mental illness

Maryland’s poor treatment of those with severe mental illness was exposed last month when Judge Gale Rasin held the acting state health secretary and four other top state officials in contempt of court. The judge found that these officials had willfully disregarded orders to increase the number of psychiatric hospital beds available for criminal defendants, some of whom had been languishing in jail for weeks waiting for treatment. To those of us who have been paying attention to the failures that characterize Maryland’s “treatment” of people with the most severe mental illnesses, this otherwise shocking decision came as little surprise. (Balt. Sun)

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Though reasonable, pacts between feds, Anne Arundel County raise hackles

In saner and less polarized times, neither of Anne Arundel County's two ongoing agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would have created much stir. But while there aren't big inherent problems with either arrangement, provided they are carried out as described by County Executive Steve Schuh and corrections chief Terry Kokolis, the county needs to tread carefully these days. (Capital)

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Mike Benusic: Bottle litter is an eyesore — and a hazard

As a recent transplant from Canada, there were many differences I expected living in Baltimore: humid summers, less colorful money, more colorful politics. Pleasantly unexpected was the amount of green space and the rudimentary cycling network that serves me well traveling between Hopkins campuses. However, both are tarnished by an unfamiliar foe: discarded bottles and cans. (Balt. Sun)

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October 12 // Sports betting? No reason to rush

In less than two months, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a New Jersey case that could repeal federal limits on sports betting. Not surprisingly, Maryland casino owners are interested in a piece of that action. They are already urging the Maryland General Assembly to place on the 2018 ballot a constitutional amendment to legalize wagers on professional and college sports events. Under the circumstances, there is really only one appropriate course of action when the legislature reconvenes in January. Just say no. (Balt. Sun)

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