Mass. Police Groups Say No Point in MJ Enforcement

Mass. Police Groups Say No Point in MJ Enforcement
Posted by CN Staff on November 18, 2008 at 05:51:05 PT
By Chelsea Pech, The Daily Free Press
Source: Maneater
Boston, U -- Nearly two weeks after voters overwhelmingly approved Question 2, a measure to decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, police groups that have publicly opposed the measure have their own follow-up: Why bother?Under the law, which will take effect Dec. 4, officers in Massachusetts will issue a fine to individuals in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana instead arresting them.
The question’s approval will put police in a non-enforcement conundrum by forcing them to treat marijuana violations as a lower priority, Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association Area A-1 representative James Carnell said.“Smoking weed will become similar to jay-walking, where you have a law that’s totally not enforced because it’s a waste of everyone’s time,” he said.Carnell said it is not worth an officer’s time to seize the drugs and fill out all the necessary paperwork for a citation under the new law and $100 fine when the fined individuals are not even required to show a valid form of identification.“It would serve no purpose to hand out citations to people who are under no obligation to provide a positive photo ID,” he said.Often those arrested for marijuana possession are breaking other laws and without making an arrest, it will be harder for officers to investigate these crimes, Carnell said.“This is just one other tool out of our hands to do anything about crime,” he said.There is no way to predict how Massachusetts’ police will handle the oncoming changes, Carnell said.“There is a whole range of issues that still haven’t been addressed and it is the street level officers who will be confronted with these issues,” he said.Last year, the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy proposed the new law because the group said arrest records unfairly hurt offenders’ chances to get jobs or secure financial aid, CSMP chairwoman Whitney Taylor said.“Lifetime barriers created by involvement with the criminal justice system are too harsh,” she said. “We want the penalty to fit the offense.”Taylor said a criminal record makes it difficult for people to obtain jobs, housing and student loans, and the new law will reduce these struggles for many people. The law is not meant to promote the use of marijuana, which is still an illegal substance, she said.“Eleven other states have passed similar laws and what we’ve seen is that it does not affect marijuana usage rates at all,” Taylor said.Though the measure will soon take effect, Taylor said the CSMP will continue to work with Massachusetts police to insure the proper enforcement of the new marijuana policy.“We will be working with others to make sure law enforcement officials and officers on the street enforce the law correctly,” she said.Anti-drug groups like Massachusetts’ Drug Abuse Resistance Education will continue to discourage drug use, D.A.R.E. Executive Director Domenic DiNatale said. Still, he acknowledged some laws, no matter how stringently enforced, are powerless to influence some people.“People are going to use [marijuana] regardless of what the law says,” he said.Source: Maneater, The (Uof Missouri - Columbia, MO Edu)Author: Chelsea Pech, The Daily Free PressPublished: November 18, 2008Copyright: 2008 The ManeaterContact: forum themaneater.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy The 'War on Drugs' Behind Bars Ballot Initiative Makes Pot a Civil Offense
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 19, 2008 at 07:13:55 PT
Thank you. Some people are really wrong about marijuana and a lot of other things too.
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Comment #4 posted by rchandar on November 19, 2008 at 07:04:59 PT:
Nonsense, Nothing But Nonsense...And We Know Why
I think this is the kind of useless grandstanding that hopefully the next four years will correct. In Massachusetts? Boston is a city with how many people? 2 million?People, these cops seize tons of MJ--on the freighters, in trucks, grow houses...these comments are totally absurd! To equate the small time dealers who have maybe 40 grams on them with big-time crime is totally unfair, it's absurd. There should be none of this kind of grandstanding, it's useless! Usually, a small-time "pusher" is either a teenager with no job, or a very low-paying job. Sometimes he has children and lives on unemployment checks. These aren't evil Corleones who go out and mow down dozens of people and send the women home sobbing, these are ordinary people! Where the hell does this "officer" get off making statements like these in MASSACHUSETTS???I think this new law should be upheld. I think perspective would suffer otherwise.--rchandar
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on November 18, 2008 at 22:38:14 PT
FoM #1
Most of the statements in the Ukiah Daily Journal LTE are so outrageous that they do not deserve a response. However, his estimate of the amount of medical cannabis needed by Alison Myrden is so over-the-top that it must be challenged as highly misleading and dangerous propaganda:{
In Alison Myrden's case, she would be smoking 600 marijuana cigarettes per day. This would equal 30 packs of regular tobacco cigarettes and she would be smoking a marijuana cigarette every 1.5 minutes during a 16 hour period.
Don't legalize marijuana - Ukiah Daily Journal{
Alison Myrden, who sits on the board of directors for Canadians for Safe Access, has little faith in Health Canada's pledge to fix the problem. The federal government moves slowly when it comes to medicinal cannabis, she said. She points to international research that she said has proven cannabis a safe and effective pain reliever for people with MS. A long-time activist for medical marijuana, Ms. Myrden said it's important for Health Canada to provide affordable, high-quality cannabis to those who need it. Her own battle with MS requires 12 ounces of cannabis a month. 
CN ON MS Sufferer Battles to Get Cannabis oz/mo
= .4 oz/day1 oz = 28.3 grams1 gram = 1 joint [see below, according to Sgt. Steve Stone of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department]28.3 grams/oz * .4 oz = 11.3 joints per day***NOT 600!***Alison Myrden is a Federal Medical Marijuana Exemptee in Canada and a well-known LEAP speaker.{
A gram of marijuana makes up about one cigarette, according to Sgt. Steve Stone of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.That means someone with 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana could conceivably have about 70 joints legally in Michigan. 
Michigan Approves Medical Marijuana
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on November 18, 2008 at 08:50:21 PT
Mass. Police Groups Say No Point in MJ Enforcement
Great, then maybe you guys can do something useful with your lives, finally!
On a mission from God!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 18, 2008 at 06:16:36 PT
LTE: Don't Legalize Marijuana
November 17, 2008
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