Q&A with Maryland state senator Jim Brochin

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Democrat James Brochin represents District 42, which includes parts of Baltimore County, in the Maryland State Senate. He has served in his position since 2003. He is also a member of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review and the Special Committee on Substance Abuse.

According to his website, Brochin is “an independent thinker who places policy before party.” Brochin visited campus Nov. 3 to speak at the Student Government Association meeting. Below is The Towerlight’s conversation with Brochin following his speech.

What is your favorite memory from your undergraduate years?

I didn’t go to Towson. I went to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I did an internship my last semester of college and I was three credits short, so I did come here and take one class. I took Richard Vatz’s Persuasion and Rhetoric class, which is a good memory. He is a very good professor, and now I get to do talk radio with him, which is equally fun, especially when I beat up on him over talk radio.

How do you plan to contribute to building a better Baltimore?

By serving in the Senate and by not taking sides as far as party goes. I’m a Democrat, but I shouldn’t be voting Democrat, I should be voting for the best political policy. That’s exactly what I’ve done for the past 13 years.

You’ve shown support for medical marijuana. What is your position on recreational marijuana?

I don’t support it. I don’t think you should put it in front of people. The people who support recreational marijuana think, ‘Well, somebody’s either going to smoke it or they’re not.’ There are a lot of in-betweeners who, if you put it in front of them, they probably would not be thinking about it. But if they’re walking down Allegheny Avenue to Strapazza, and there’s a pot dispensary right next to it, or they’re with their buddy who is over 21, they’ll say, ‘Hey, let’s go get high today. That’s a great idea.’ Normally, they would just be thinking about going to Strapazza and getting a slice of pizza. I don’t think government should be promoting people getting stoned, because I think pot demotivates. Medical marijuana is fine if you’re suffering from glaucoma, or cancer, or anything like that, but I don’t think we should incentivize people to smoke pot.

Why should students care about local politics?

I think at the end of the day, the more engaged you get, the more internships you can make yourself available to, and you can hit the job market with a running start, which is a good thing.

Why did you decide to come to Towson?
I taught here for thirteen years and it’s a great university. It’s part of my district and I never say no. At least, I try not to say no.

- Compiled by Sarah Rowan

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