Maryland reaches marijuana legalization, ISM consultation leads to future schedule change, State legislation proposes to increase minimum wage


Maryland reaches marijuana legalization

We want marijuana! Or at least the majority of Maryland does, according to a poll in 2013.

Marijuana is slowly making its way to being legal in Maryland. Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation regarding the removal of criminal penalties for having less than 10 grams of marijuana on a person.  This law will go into effect Oct. 1 of this year.

Besides this, O’Malley signed more bills regarding the access to medical marijuana for patients who need it.  Allowing patients to receive their dosage for their pain will be in effect on June 1, 2014.

“Medical marijuana is a legitimate form of medication, and I believe it’s OK for people to treat illness with it,” senior Kirsten Kyburz said. “People put other prescription drugs into their bodies, and I don’t see why it can’t be marijuana. Besides, the side effects of other prescription drugs can be so much more harmful to the body.”

As reported in the poll in 2013, it seems like marijuana will not only be decriminalized and allowed for medicinal uses in Maryland, but also may be legalized, regulated, and taxed, according to the wishes of the people.

“I am not a fan,”  Health teacher Tess Gauthier said. “People make comparisons between alcohol and marijuana saying marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. There might be some arguments to that, but the fact is someone can have a glass of wine with dinner and not be altered. The one reason to smoke a joint is to be altered and also you get smoke in your lungs. It’s not natural.”

According to sophomore Daniel Bonsack, “[Marijuana shouldn’t be legalized] because it will lead to worse addictions.  I think we’ll have a huge problem years to come.”

Elizabeth Driver is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and

ISM consultation leads to future schedule change

The administration has decided to change the modular schedule in approximately two years, although there is not yet a determination of how the schedule will be changed, according to Scheduler Danica Attanasio.

The change will be made in time for the 2015-2016 school year and will be decided by a teacher committee at a later date.

The administration decided to make a change after a consultation by Independent School Management (ISM) on March 23-25, according to Attanasio. ISM is a company that provides a consultation service for private, independent schools.

“It is very difficult to accommodate [everyone’s] schedules,” Principal Madelyn Ball said.

“We wanted to see if what we’re doing meets all the needs of all the students,” Attanasio said.

According to Ball, our current schedule only offers seven slots for classes, but students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program, or STEM, are required to have an eighth class.

“[The ISM report] was excellent,” Ball said. “They gave us 6-7 suggestions of types of schedules.” The committee will take these considerations into account when making a decision on how the schedule will be changed.

Angela DeCarlo is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and

State legislation proposes to increase minimum wage

By 2018, the minimum wage in Maryland is set to be increased by 40 percent.  Minimum wage workers will earn $10.10 per hour, according to CNN.

On April 7, Maryland state legislature approved a bill that would implement this raise. Governor Martin O’Malley has signed the bill making it into law. Maryland was the second state to pass the legislation. The increase of the minimum wage by state and local lawmakers has been encouraged by President Barack Obama.

According to CNN, Obama said that raising the minimum wage will “ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty and that every American who works hard has the opportunity to succeed.”

“I am not really sure if it will help low wage families, but teenagers and part time workers will love the raise,” senior Jonathan Kolson said.

The rate will gradually move up from $7.25 to the projected wage. On Jan. 1 2015, the wage is set to be at $8 per hour and $8.25 on July 1 the same year. Each year after that, the minimum wage will go up 50 cents until 2018.

Erica Kelble is the Multimedia Editor for The Patriot and