Diana Morris: What Baltimore should ask gubernatorial candidates

Our quality of life and sense of well-being are shaped by the health of Baltimore, whether we live inside the city or a surrounding county. Most of the region’s best professional opportunities are in Baltimore, with its world class financial, health, academic and tech institutions, and the city’s cultural offerings are unparalleled in the area. But if the city does not function well, if it cannot provide opportunities for economic stability and good health to each of its residents, then the entire region falls short. It is therefore in the self-interest of everyone in the region to make sure that Baltimore thrives by making the welfare of the city and its residents a top priority. (Balt. Sun)

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Time to start studying cannabis

Medical marijuana sales are now legal in Maryland, and people coping with chronic pain finally have access to a wide range of pills, oils, lotions, salves and marijuana itself. What they do not have access to is good information about the safety and effectiveness of the many medicines they are being offered, because the federal government continues to cripple any effort to study the drug. A recent article in The News-Post’s Senior Living supplement reported on local physicians such as Dr. Craig Hauser who are trying to help older residents find their path forward on a confusing journey. (News-Post)

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Joseph Dudek: When police hide technology use, we all lose

Kerron Andrews was apprehended by Baltimore police on May 5, 2014. Police suspected that he had attempted to murder three people. They asked a judge for a “pen register order” to help them find Mr. Andrews, and the request was granted. Pen registers are old devices for tracking the numbers someone dials into their phone, and these orders now encompass any information your phone company has in its records about you and your phone. The police worked their way to a neighborhood using information from Mr. Andrews’ cell phone company and then to an apartment using a device called a Hailstorm. (Balt. Sun)

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Keep police HQ project on track

It is eminently reasonable that the three new members of the Frederick Board of Aldermen wanted more information about the need, scope and financing of a proposed new police headquarters building. But let’s not let this process drag out too long. Aldermen Roger Wilson, Ben MacShane and Derek Shackelford, who were all elected in November, put the brakes on the long-discussed project during the budget deliberations in the spring. They had not been involved in the initial discussions and planning, and felt they were left with more questions than answers. (News-Post)

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August 3 // Here's why an abortion rights amendment in Maryland would matter

Even if the Supreme Court takes steps to weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade, as many abortion rights activists are fearful it will do if Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh (or, likely, just about any other appointee of President Donald Trump) is confirmed, abortion will remain legal in Maryland. That’s thanks to a 1991 law and subsequent vote by the electorate in 1992 that codifies the basic rights granted by Roe v. Wade in Maryland statute. But with confirmation hearings for Mr. Kavanaugh approaching — and various cases challenging Roe to one degree or another wending their way through federal courts — House Speaker Michael E. Busch is arguing that Maryland law isn’t strong enough and that a state constitutional amendment is needed. We agree. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland needs to get — and stay — ahead of the curve on opioids

Maryland has just issued its latest report on the opioid epidemic in the state; let’s start by recounting the good news, because, unfortunately, it won’t take long. Overdose deaths related to heroin declined from 1,212 in 2016 to 1,078 in 2017; deaths in which prescription opioids were involved also fell slightly, from 418 to 413. Data from other sources indicate that opioid prescribing is waning. Such statistics suggest the state is finally making headway against those two killers. Nevertheless, overall deaths due to drug and alcohol intoxication rose by 9 percent, to a record 2,282. (Wash. Post)

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Vouchsafing the integrity of Baltimore police

We’re glad to see that interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle has ordered officers to respond to a questionnaire from State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office designed to flag possible integrity issues before they testify at trial. Too many cases have been dropped — and, quite likely, too many guilty people have gone free as a result — because of the untrustworthy testimony of members of the department’s Gun Trace Task Force as well as others who have abused their badges. (Balt. Sun)

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Jerome Want: Why Amazon is not a good fit for Md.

Montgomery County and Maryland have gone all out to attract Amazon’s “second headquarters.” Here are some reasons why it would not be a good fit. The county already has the second-most congested traffic patterns in the country, being part of the D.C. metro traffic chaos. On top of that, our infrastructure is among the worst, with both the state and county coffers having no money for improvements, despite already having one of the very highest tax burdens as companies are actually starting to leave county (and state). (Daily Record)

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