Thursday, July 30, 2009

Massachusettes police chiefs legalize marijuana

By J.D. Tuccille
Civil Liberties Examiner

Police chiefs in towns like Auburn and Clinton, Massachusetts would undoubtedly deny that they have any interest in legalizing marijuana, but that's what they've effectively accomplished.

Bent out of shape by the details of Question 2, the decriminalization measure that voters passed in November, those law-enforcement officials have announced that they won't bother issuing tickets to people caught smoking marijuana.

The new law, in effect since January, replaces criminal penalties with a $100 fine for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. The text of the law also forbids any repercussions whatsoever, from denial of student loans to inclusion in a criminal record to consideration during applications for status as an adoptive parent.

But in what is likely a clever sleight of hand by legalization advocates, the law, by pulling arrest off the table as an option, deprives police officers of any means to compel people caught with marijuana to show identification. Anybody willing to say "Donald Duck" to a cop who nabs him with a joint and asks for a name can escape even the $100 fine.

And that's a good thing.

Marijuana is now not only de facto legal in a few Massachusetts communities because police find the requirements of decriminalization too demanding, it is now effectively sanction-free in the entire state for anybody willing to face down a cop.

The added benefit is that the state will not be collecting much revenue from those fines. Anything that denies resources to the government is a good thing.

Governments never had the right to tell consenting adults what they can and can't buy from and sell to each other, or put into their own bodies. We're not quite at the point where politicians are willing to concede that point. But we're getting closer when police simply throw up their hands and effectively allow people to exercise their rights unmolested.

Article from the National Examiner


SunflowerPipes said...

There are many persuasive arguments on why America should legalize marijuana, and the reasons are sound, but the fact that many millions of Americans have used pot has not translated into real political pressure on the people who can change the laws. One of the problems inhibiting legalization is that people that smoke a glass pipe are not considered serious or mature. It is This stigma that scares many pot users to hide that they smoke pot. Therefore the Reality of who smokes pot and how much the smoke is very different than it seems. The last three presidents were admitted pot users and by my Understanding the same is probably true of the first three presidents as well. Marijuana Legislation is very serious and has everything with how we define what it means to be American. What credence do we as Americans give the rights of the individual to the pursuit of happiness as well as a right to privacy? In the end it is up to us to be public about our choices and to Voice our opinions to the ones that ultimately decide what the rules are. Every hand written Letter that makes it to a representative is considered to be the voice of a thousand people who did not take the time to write. Send an email, send a letter make a phone call and get counted.

Anonymous said...

I dare you to read this:

Thid is in response to the article you wrote claiming machine guns are " so easy to get in the US that 90 percent of Mexicos cartel get their guns from us" or words to that effect. You spoke of M-16s, Uzis ect. You are aware that a full auto firearm made after 1986 is illegal to sell to a civilian? If I want a full auto firearm, I must buy one made before then, with the aproval of the ATF and spend about $15,000 to do so. Journalists, and I use that term loosely, need to get there gun facts strait. I wish I had a job where I could be ignorant of the fact and still get paid. Try that with a job where you have to produce a product or repair something and see how long you are employed.

C. Nation

Dave said...

No you don't.
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Spouting off with ideological right-wing rhetoric doesn't make you an authority.
Try doing some research yourself.

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