Morhaim is a Symbol of Democratic Corruption and Should Resign
A state lawmaker who has been a leading advocate of Maryland’s medical marijuana law said Wednesday he wished he had been more transparent about his business connection to the cannabis industry.
Del. Dan Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat, has drawn scrutiny for publicly telling the state’s medical cannabis commission how to set up the industry at the same time he agreed to work as a clinical director for a private company seeking a highly coveted license.
Morhaim, who is a physician, sponsored legislation passed by the General Assembly that legalized and helped form the industry.
What this means is that Maryland’s legalization of medical marijuana was predicated on a lie. Del. Morhaim was the linchpin of efforts to get marijuana passed in the state of Maryland. The marijuana lobby relied on his expertise and his medical opinion. After all, he was the only doctor in the Maryland General Assembly, making his opinion disproportionately valued by his Democratic colleague. If the doctor is for it, how can I be against it?
Except now we have reason to question Morhaim’s medical opinion on the subject. It has become very apparent by this revelation that Morhaim’s advocacy for marijuana legalization in general and medical marijuana in particular is related to his financial ties to the cannabis industry. Morhaim’s die-hard support of this policy issue has everything to do with wanting to make a buck at the expense of Maryland taxpayers.
As you know, Maryland Democrats have a proud history when it comes to conflicts of interest in Annapolis, and Morhaim’s excuses come straight from the Democratic playbook:
Morhaim’s name appears on the license application for Doctor’s Orders, but he did not tell the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics or the state’s medical cannabis commission that he hoped to become clinical director if the company were approved.
Morhaim said he was not under legal obligation to disclose it, but in hindsight he would have revealed that information.
It’s the usual “what I did was legal under the law but I knew it wasn’t right and in hindsight I wish I did the right thing” defense. Except you know what the right thing would have been to do as much as I do. Morhaim owed it to his colleagues in the General Assembly and to the people of Maryland to be forthright and disclose his dealings with this company. He should have done the honorable thing and recused himself from the issue of medical marijuana so long as he was angling to directly profit from its legalization. These are basic ethical decisions that most people understand but Maryland Democrats routinely fail to put into practice.
Realistically, Morhaim should resign from the House of Delegates in disgrace. He won’t do that, however this is just another reason as to why it’s important that we enact meaningful redistricting reform in our state to ensure that corrupt career politicians like Dan Morhaim have to answer to the voters for their failures.