ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s marijuana prohibition hurts more people than it helps, a veteran narcotics investigator told lawmakers Thursday. But he said police want to keep it illegal because drug enforcement is part of their professional culture.

“It has become our identity,” Neill Franklin said. “Losing that identity is a hard pill to swallow. I had to do it.”

Franklin worked with the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department for a total of 33 years. He now leads the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

He testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of Del. Curt Anderson’s marijuana legalization bill.

Franklin said drug enforcement units “unfortunately” depend on cash and assets they seize in drug raids.

“It is a cash cow for drug task forces in this state and many other states,” he said.

But if Maryland were to create a legal marijuana market, it could cut out…

View original post 271 more words