Marijuana Proponents Take on State Attorneys

Marijuana Proponents Take on State Attorneys
Posted by CN Staff on September 18, 2008 at 20:33:25 PT
By Lyle Moran, Eagle Boston Bureau
Source: Berkshire Eagle
Boston, MA -- A group supporting more lenient marijuana laws is trying to turn another law involving campaign financing against their opponents  the state's district attorneys.The Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, which supports a ballot referendum that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot, filed campaign finance complaints yesterday against organizations and individuals opposing their ballot question, including the Massachusetts District Attorney Association.
The complaints, filed with Office of Campaign and Political Finance and the Attorney General's office, allege that opponents of the marijuana ballot question committed 14 infractions of fundraising laws and another violation of campaign laws by allegedly publishing false statements."I find it quite egregious that people whose sole job is to uphold the law chose to break the law for political campaign means," said Whitney Taylor, the executive director of the pro-marijuana committee.Taylor said that the Coalition for Safe Streets, a group opposed to Ballot Question 2 comprised of the state's district attorneys, broke the law by accepting contributions and spending money prior to declaring itself a formal ballot question committee.Although the safe-streets group filed papers on Sept. 5 to become a committee, records show the coalition received over $27,000 between July 18 and Sept. 5. Ten of 12 contributions were from committees representing Massachusetts district attorneys, with each gift ranging from $2,200-$2,500.On Aug. 21 the Safe Streets campaign gave $21,000 to O'Neill and Associates, a Boston public relations firm, which was named in the complaint.Jason Tait, a spokesman for the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, said that prior to spending or raising money a group must organize as a ballot question committee to comply with campaign finance laws. When a committee violates the law the likely consequences would be a payment by a committee member to the state or a letter to the public outlining the violations committed, Tait said.Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said that the safe streets coalition engaged in no wrongdoing. He did not expect any judgment against the group. "The complaints are a weak ploy to derail the strong and determined opposition to (ballot) Question 2," Leone said following a press conference to publicize opposition to the marijuana ballot question.The Coalition for Safe Streets said in a statement yesterday evening that it has been in close contact with the Campaign and Political Finance office and has followed its guidance throughout the campaign. If passed by voters in November, Question 2 would make possession of an ounce or less or marijuana a civil rather than criminal violation that would carry a fine, but no threat of jail. Supporters say the measure would help cities and towns focus on other, more serious offenses.Yesterday afternoon, opponents of the measure, including district attorneys, religious leaders and police officers, gathered outside the Statehouse to repeat their opposition to the ballot question, warning that marijuana is a gateway drug to more serious addictions.They said passing the measure will have troubling consequences for the state. Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)Author: Lyle Moran, Eagle Boston BureauPublished: Thursday, September 18, 2008Copyright: 2008 New England Newspapers, Inc.Contact: letters berkshireeagle.comWebsite: Articles:Mass. Marijuana Measure Draws Heat Unite To Fight Marijuana Initiative
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Comment #8 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 20, 2008 at 12:45:22 PT
As Law Enforcement Sees It
Decriminalization of marijuana will really cut into all their overtime for para-military raids on cannabis consumers. I'd be mad too!
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Comment #7 posted by potpal on September 20, 2008 at 05:51:59 PT
the obvious
Can it be any more obvious? Does the DA really care about 'safe streets' or keeping a nice steady flow of solid citizens with money in their pockets to pick. The new 'high' way robbery. The cops have become the robbers.
Good men gone bad. And what else keeps them from meaningful reform? A protections racket, bribes, the corruption that comes with prohibition. What would they do without it? I hope they find out. Sue their asses. 
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on September 19, 2008 at 22:43:58 PT
museman #3 
Yes, please!
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Comment #5 posted by fight_4_freedom on September 19, 2008 at 15:02:40 PT
Just received an e-mail from MPP
Here's a warning for all who are attending the "Boston Freedom Rally".URGENT: Opponents of Question 2 are planning on crashing the Freedom RallyThis message from the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy is being forwarded to MPP subscribers on the Yes on Question 2 campaign's behalf:It has come to our attention from an impeccable source that opponents of Question 2  specifically Billy Breault, head of the Main South Alliance for Public Safety, and likely other individuals  will be attending the Freedom Rally with the expressed intent of making sure people who break the law are arrested.This is being done as an attempt to generate negative press about the Question 2 campaign  even though we are not affiliated with this event in any way and we do not promote or condone marijuana use  and we urge all attendees to bear this in mind.If you are attending the Freedom Rally, please be mindful that there will be a heavy police presence, both in uniform and undercover, and opponents in the crowd actively working to get people arrested. Please do not break any laws and be safe. Please circulate this message to everyone you know who plans on attending this event.CSMP is not affiliated with this event and we do not promote or condone marijuana use. We are sending this message simply to pass on important information of which we have become aware as a service to our supporters.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 19, 2008 at 12:02:28 PT
Related Article From SouthCoastDaily
Area Law Enforcement Say 'No' To Marijuana DecriminalizationSeptember 19, 2008New Bedford, MA -- Make no mistake about it: law enforcement officials in Southeastern Massachusetts are strongly against decriminalizing smaller amounts of marijuana."Question 2 ignores the extreme effects drug legalization would have in Massachusetts," said Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe, who is leading the statewide charge against the November ballot initiative.In a Thursday press conference on the steps of New Bedford Superior Court, Mr. O'Keefe was joined by a coterie of public officials that included Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter as well as mayors, police chiefs, prosecutors, sheriffs, and business leaders from SouthCoast and Cape Cod.Complete Article:
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Comment #3 posted by museman on September 19, 2008 at 08:30:24 PT
I almost forgot
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Comment #2 posted by museman on September 19, 2008 at 08:28:54 PT
your damn 'law'
Is the GATEWAY to Hell. And if thats what you believe in, hurry up and go there so us regular children of God can have our earth back.
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Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 19, 2008 at 05:19:31 PT
Good Going MPP!
Someone finally realized that we should be going after heavy handed prosecutors and law enforcement, they're the real hold outs. It's especially easy, because the majority of the authoritarian and agressive prohibitionists are already criminals, case and point, this article.
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