Vote NO on #2 (Massachusetts)

Question #2 this year would replace the criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana with a new system of civil penalties.

I understand and appreciate the arguments in favor of it, but I think the arguments against it are more compelling. An ounce of marijuana is actually a good amount (56 individual sales according to the District Attorneys Association), first-time offenders get probation and don’t get a publicly-available criminal record, and it’s just not a good public image for the government to say that “minor” drug use is “okay”, and we’ll just charge you a $100 tax when you get caught. I don’t believe that it will save $30 million in police costs, and I think that it’s a good use of police time to try to get drugs off the streets, and get the drug users into the probation and rehabilitation programs.

It will be interesting to see if this will pass. This state is sometimes socially liberal and sometimes socially conservative, in ways that seem contradictory at times. There have been non-binding questions in some areas of the state in years past, and I think that many of those passed. But I wouldn’t bet on the outcome of this question either way. I think it’ll be close.

3 thoughts on “Vote NO on #2 (Massachusetts)

  1. depending on the level of pothead, a z isnt really that much. it usually gets broken into up to 4 parts and divided amongst friends. with most of the people i know, or knew, a z lasts maybe a week.

    im am both for and against this, so i am totally conflicted. we shall see how i feel soon.

  2. Question #2 is more than just about the de-decriminalization of less than one ounce of cannabis but also about much needed reform of the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system.

    People with CORI records cannot get Federal student college aide, no public housing, you can not adopt, yon can never own a firearm (a violation of the 4th Amendment), banks can refuse you loans and any job with the public is also impossible.

    CORI records are created even WITHOUT conviction and you have no way to remove them. They can only be ‘sealed’ which is worse in many ways as it arouses suspicion. The sealed record alone will cause an employer to say “No thanks”.

    It only takes the ACCUSATION of a simple possession charge to destroy a life forever.

    Ask yourself which causes more damage; the effects of the drug or the effects of the arrest?
    Let the punishment fit the crime.
    Vote Yes on question #2.

  3. According to the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, the first-time offender’s charge is generally dismissed, and if not dismissed, the record is sealed. The restriction on Federal Student Aid is temporary. They also say that the civil record this proposed law would create would also be on a CORI, but without the protection that criminal records can get. I tend to believe them.

    I’ll certainly agree that there are problems with the current CORI system. People (like employers) tend to just want a blank sheet to come back, and aren’t trained in how to interpret what actually happened in the subject’s life and how much of a risk they would be. The CORI system could definitely use some reforms. But this isn’t one that would help.

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