Attention Maryland Voters
By Robin Frazier
Don’t be confused by messages from Senator Ready and others. There is no good reason to pass any of these so-called Constitutional Amendments, some of which have no place in the Constitution. Legislators don’t want to record their vote on some issues so they say, “Let the people decide.”
Then, the summary information is slanted to encourage a YES vote on questions and for some reason, history shows most people vote Yes on ballot questions.
Let us review each Maryland Constitutional Ballot Question:
Question 1 – VOTE NO Changing the names of the Courts and titles of the Judges – Totally unnecessary. Everyone in Maryland who deals with the courts understands Special Appeals Court is the lower Court and the Appeals Court is the High Court. The main change here is to make the titles sound more important so that Judges would become “Justices.” Perhaps that would be appropriate if there were justice in the high courts of Maryland, but my personal experience is that judges protect the governments and their agencies over the people and there is no equal justice under the law.
In my case, the Carroll County Court ruled the Taneytown Government violated the Open Meetings Laws five times, the Court of Special Appeals overturned the most egregious error in the lower court and ruled there was not an Open Meeting preceding a closed meeting, the High Court upheld that ruling and agreed with my arguments on the fact the violations could not be ruled not willful based on the definition of the lower court that the holding of the illegal meeting had to be nefarious in nature. When I read the findings, I thought we had won. The last statement though was that the court ruled against me. I presume to protect the Taneytown government from having to pay my few thousand dollars of court costs and a small monetary penalty to the state, and so they could have a headline that said they won the case, even though they were found to have seven violations of the law and the violations were willful. That is just one of many examples, but it happened to me so I can report it with accuracy.
This is just puffed-up folly – and not necessary.
Question 2 – VOTE NO Eligibility of Senators and Delegates regarding place of Abode
This law is already in place. I am not sure based on the summaries that the law says they must “reside” in the district or “maintain a primary place of abode,” but they mean the same thing. The law already covers this issue. As a mortgage loan officer, I dealt with this issue all the time. Legally, residing and primary residence or abode, are the same. It simply means that is where you spend the most time living, sleeping, getting your mail, etc. However, there is no tell- tale document or set of criteria for the determination of whether or not one resides in or maintains a primary place of abode and in the case of eligibility for running for office it must be decided in a court.
Any argument that some have kept a bed in an apartment and called it their primary residence, or primary place of abode, is irrelevant. Those suspected of such a thing simply need to have the matter resolved in court. This additional language does nothing to resolve this problem, except maybe to make it more wishy-washy as new terms must be defined. I again contend that whether it says “reside” or “maintain a place of abode” the intent is covered. Ultimately though, the courts will have to decide.
Question 3 – VOTE NO Raising the dollar amount on which Civil cases can request a jury trial from $15,000.00 to $25,000.00. I believe citizens should have as many choices as possible when going to court to defend themselves. Today we see more and more poor judges and a citizen may well have a better chance with a Jury to get a fair ruling. I vote for more choices for more people. Leave it at $15,000.00.
Question 4 – VOTE NO Legalizing Adult use and possession of Marijuana – they call cannabis because they have been desensitizing us with the idea that cannabis is medically useful and not a harmful drug.
I agree with Senator Ready that passing an amendment to the Constitution and then making the rules for implementing it is wrong and a good reason for opposing this amendment. Why should this even be in our Constitution? I cannot tell, except to keep the arguments and votes of legislators off the records.
However, Senator Ready did usher in the recreation use of marijuana in supporting dispensaries in Carroll County.
Congressman, Dr. Andy Harris has been fighting recreational use of marijuana based on the true science. Marijuana is rated as a Schedule 1 Drug, still illegal under federal law under the Drug Enforcement Agency. Why? Schedule 1 drugs, as explained in the sample ballot literature A. have a high potential for abuse, and B. have no accepted medical use in the US, which is accurate. The third characteristic of Schedule 1 drugs is downplayed in the ballot explanation and is more accurately stated as: C. Schedule 1 drugs are considered UNSAFE even under medical supervision and so they have no use in healthcare and are used only for their addictive effects. Congressman, Dr. Andy Harris stated that other Doctors agree there are currently various medications that can address what cannabis is being used for and that the introduction of medical cannabis is just a stepping stone towards recreational use of marijuana, a gateway drug to more serious drug abuse. So here we are. Voting on the recreational use of marijuana disguised as cannabis – sold to us as Safe for medical use. Other Schedule 1 drugs include: Ecstasy, Heroin and LSD.
Question 5 – VOTE NO Judges sitting as Orphans Court, instead of elected Orphans Court Judges
For years there has been a push to require Orphans Court Judges which deal with Wills and Estates issues, to be lawyers. The Orphans Court is dealing with people that are grieving and navigating through legal stuff they may never have considered. Having Orphans Court judges that are caring and compassionate and have time to help the citizens during this difficult time is an important part of the job of a judge of the Orphans Court. Allowing the people to choose or unseat those that serve in this important position which has been working well in Carroll County for decades is definitely best for the people.
Having a Circuit Court Judge, which is already overworked, try and handle the busy Orphans Court would be a disservice to the people. Another important aspect is that if the Orphans Court judges make a ruling the people are not happy with, they can appeal to the Circuit Court. With the Circuit Court judges making the decision, the appeal would have to go to the State Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis.
This is a bad idea.