How Weed Was Decriminalized

  How Weed Was Decriminalized

Posted by CN Staff on November 30, 2008 at 12:07:31 PT
By William G. Brooks III, Guest Columnist 
Source: Metrowest Daily News 

Massachusetts -- The Nov. 4 vote to decriminalize marijuana possession says as much about ballot referendums as it does about drugs. According to material posted on the Web site of the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy (OCPF) raised over $1.2 million in support of Question 2. Over $1 million of that, or just over 83 percent, came from outside Massachusetts. The opponents of Question 2, the Coalition for Safe Streets, a group organized largely by the district attorneys, raised just over $60,000, or about 5 percent of what the proponents raised.
Why the disparity? Again, the OCPF Web site tells the story. Most of the proponents' donations came from George Soros, a New York City entrepreneur who personally donated $400,000, along with several out-of-state pro-marijuana groups whose stated mission is to decriminalize marijuana nationally.One particularly disturbing aspect of the proponents' campaign was a series of 30-second television ads which featured two retired police officers. In each case, photos of the former officers wearing police uniforms were shown as the men touted the value of civil penalties. One ad promised that the new law would free up officers to go after violent criminals and that a 'yes' vote would "make our communities safer." Both claims are erroneous and, by the way, the OCPF Web site indicates that the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy paid the officer $4,000 for this 30-second ad.So now we are left with a law that makes no sense. Civil penalties will not save the state $30 million dollars each year in criminal justice costs like the proponents promised. In fact, it will cost the state money to develop and administer a drug awareness program mandated by Question 2, and to pay the salaries of the program's instructors. And the new law does not decriminalize only small amounts of pot - it decriminalizes up to an ounce of marijuana or hashish. Non-drug users probably don't realize that an ounce of marijuana generates about 50 joints and sells for about $500.The proponents led the public to believe that people's lives had been ruined because convicted marijuana users were left with a drug conviction on their record. But under the old law, a person caught for the first time with marijuana was placed on probation for six months, then the case was dismissed and the record sealed.CORI files accessible to the public contain only information on convictions, so these records were not revealed. What most people don't understand is that the CORI law is actually designed to protect criminal records. Ironically, the new law moves marijuana out of the arena of criminal records and into the civil. There are no protections pertaining to the disclosure of civil records by criminal justice agencies. Under the old law, if a newspaper were to ask a police department for a list of all the people charged with marijuana possession the previous year, the police department would have been legally prohibited from disclosing it. Once Question 2 goes into effect, a police department will be required to disclose such information because it will become a public record under Massachusetts law.And contrary to the myths promoted by the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, marijuana arrests don't prevent students from getting college loans for life and marijuana smokers don't serve jail time in Massachusetts.When the new law takes effect, the police will still be able to arrest minors caught with alcohol, but not if they're carrying $500 worth of marijuana. A person under 21 who is convicted of transporting alcohol will still lose his license for 90 days, but a minor who transports marijuana or hashish will not lose it. Getting caught with an open beer in a vehicle carries a $500 fine, but getting caught with marijuana or hash will carry a fine of only $100. High school teachers are already telling us that students are talking about how much easier it will be to smoke weed.The system that brought about this change in our drug laws is flawed and the public was hoodwinked. Now law enforcement is left to deal with this mess.William G. Brooks III if the deputy chief of police in Wellesey and the director of the Norfolk County Police Anti-Crime task force for the past 21 years.Source: Metrowest Daily News (MA)Author: William G. Brooks IIIPublished: November 30, 2008Copyright: 2008 MetroWest Daily NewsContact: mdnletters cnc.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy Law Has Drug Counselors Retooling Strategy Groups Say No Point in MJ Enforcement

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Comment #19 posted by The GCW on December 05, 2008 at 05:08:22 PT
White: Law officers 'don't get it'
White: Law officers 'don't get it'As a Christian American who helped pass Question 2, I strongly disagree with William G. Brooks III's assertion ("How weed was decriminalized," Nov. 30) citizens are "left with a law that makes no sense." Caging responsible adults for using the relatively safe God-given plant cannabis (marijuana) is what makes no sense; in fact it's ignorant and luciferous.It does only decriminalize small amounts; a compacted ounce equals about 2 packs of cigarettes. Brooks' concept of its value is conveniently dictated by black market influences which law enforcement agencies and their unions help create; its honest value in a regulated society could be less than $100.Fact is, law enforcement officers still don't get it. Nationally, responsible cannabis users are through being discriminated against for choosing cannabis instead of beer, wine or whiskey and through being forced into "treatment" in order to avoid being caged. Cannabis prohibition is the "mess," not passage of Question 2, and citizens are fixing this mess the best way possible.STAN WHITE, Dillon, Col. soon to MAP) 
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on December 03, 2008 at 06:02:35 PT
I thought it was very good. 
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Comment #17 posted by potpal on December 03, 2008 at 05:23:58 PT
national geo
Anybody see the show? Ought to be called cannabis or hemp nation, not marijuana nation. Start off right. Hopefully the show was not simply more national focusing on our heros parachuting into the forest to eradicate the gardeners...stuff like that.
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Comment #16 posted by HempWorld on December 01, 2008 at 16:05:59 PT
How Weed Was Criminalized!
By plain old racism in Texas in 1914.So, Mr. William G. Brooks III you are a racist and bigot, congratulations! I hope you feel really good about yourself.
On a mission from God!
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Comment #15 posted by roza-velt parks on December 01, 2008 at 15:47:43 PT:
focus on the end of paragraph 4:Question 2 decrim-
inalizes up to an ounce of mj or hashish. Non-drug users probably don't realize that an ounce of mj generates 50 joints.             fact: 1 ounce=28 grams  WGBrooks claims that 1 ounce=50 joints          WGBrooks claims that 28grams=50 joints          WGBrooks claims that 56grams=100joints           WGBrooks claims that 56/100gram=100/100joint       WGBrooks claims that 56/100gram= 1 joint;Fact
     :the typical joint contains 1 gram of mj. 56/100gram of mj can be rolled up inside of a cigarette-rolling-paper,but you don't wind up with a joint----what you do get is the skinniest pin-joint on planet earth. WGBrooks' claim is a flat-out lie.         when a drug-law-enforcer talks about mj, lies abound.  WGBrooks makes yet another claim:Question 2 decriminalizes up to an ounce of HASHISH. I seriously doubt that the word hashish even appears in the text of Question 2{I say that WGBrooks' other claim is yet another lie}.SOMEBODY PLEASE CHECK THIS OUT.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on December 01, 2008 at 09:34:50 PT
What you and other prohibition mongers are up against these days, thank God, is a large number of "People, longing to be free" from your costly, in lives and resources, and hideously draconian "war" on natural rights and freedom... and vegetation. No one wants to force you to have or use the "vegetation" in question. They want to force you to stop "Protecting" other people from said vegetation to the point of causing great grief and death, even, in the name of your terribly skewed idea of "Protecting".We've seen large numbers of our friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and family members... and some of us have suffered it personally, being imprisoned and persecuted over vegetation.You lost because some voters are saying "Enough is enough."... finally.It means that you have to start treating people like people... instead of the mindless sheep you'd like them to be, for you and other prohibitionist zealots, to lead around and herd as you please. Didn't know "Sheep" could roar, did you? Scary, isn't it?
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on December 01, 2008 at 09:14:18 PT
William Brooks
Obviously, "One particularly disturbing aspect of the proponents' campaign... " to you, is that you lost, and you're a really sore loser.
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Comment #12 posted by Vincent on December 01, 2008 at 08:16:03 PT:
How Marijuana was decriminalized
 "How Weed Was Decriminalized" is the title of this garbage, I mean...article. I could see that this dummy, I mean...gentleman, William G. Brooks the supercop, is having conniptions after the OVERWHELMING LANDSLIDE of Question 2 (Right-On!). They, along with the "Nobama" jackasses just refuse to accept the fact that this is no longer a Conservative country; it hasn't been one for a long time. I am a proud Socialist and have been one since the late 60s, when I was a kid. We were headed down (or up) this road toward tolerance until it was interrupted by the Republican victories in 1980. Once in power, the Republicans
started acting like the Cultural upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s never happened! And since the Democrats proved themselves to be "Weak Fish" at the time, then the Conservatives grew bolder and screwed up this country for a generation. But now it is ending. We will win. Thank God. 
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Comment #11 posted by runruff on December 01, 2008 at 08:09:17 PT
How abot "coffin nails' for tobacco?Hooch, rot gut, conversation lubricant, booze, grog, pretty girl maker, [last call for alcohol] panther piss, head slosh, jungle juice, pruno?Next post I'll enumurate all the endearing names society has given cops and Father Yummyboyz, the catholic priest.
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Comment #10 posted by potpal on December 01, 2008 at 07:54:31 PT
Well, if you're gonna start off calling cannabis 'weed', why not 'rabid prohibitionists' for Coalition for Safe Streets and 'pinhead' for district attorneys? 
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on December 01, 2008 at 07:40:35 PT
Maybe it's Firefox.
I noticed the stacking effect the other day when I wanted to post a long url and couldn't find TinyUrl for some reason. It seems to have disappeared from bookmarks and I was in a hurry and did it anyway. Even on my smaller monitor, they've been stacking up and staying whole... and not making a long string, that way recently.There's a few more url shortening sites these days, too. and and them, just recently, from this article.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on December 01, 2008 at 06:43:03 PT
I have a 19 inch monitor and it throws the page out of whack. Using the tiny url prevents that from happening. I only use IE too. Maybe it works on another browser.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on December 01, 2008 at 06:30:13 PT
Maybe it's my computer
but those long urls come out quite nicely... stacked, but together, not strung a mile across the page, on threads, now. For some reason.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on December 01, 2008 at 06:26:10 PT
I tried to fix the thread but I couldn't get it fixed. Here is a tiny url for what you posted.
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on November 30, 2008 at 21:33:41 PT

passed fair and square
Hey, the people voted overwhelmingly for decimalization and it passed fair and square.  No one was fooled. Everyone knew what they were voting for. As for some funding coming from out of state, so what? A lot of issues and politicians get funding from out of state too. It is not illegal. If the opponents had gotten funding from out of state I bet they wouldn’t complain. I wish these guys would stop their whining and get back to work.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on November 30, 2008 at 19:45:00 PT

Chief Police State!OpenDocumentThe call came shortly after 2a.m. “This is the Wellesley Police. Your daughter has been arrested.” Awakened and assuming Stephanie was in her bed; my response was disbelief, confusion, fury. She had been found “trespassing” two blocks from home on the grounds of the local elementary school. My response to the call was an outraged, Congratulations, you have just arrested an autistic Girl Scout.” 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 30, 2008 at 18:52:07 PT

Heads Up: Explorer: Marijuana Nation
* 8 P.M. -- Tuesday, National Geographic ChannelThirty years ago, an economics major at the college I attended half-kiddingly talked about doing a paper on the drug trade, justifying it by saying it was the perfect example of the principle of supply and demand.A couple of years later I was flying in an Indiana State Police helicopter over a field of wild marijuana plants near a relatively busy road. (We didn't inhale.)It's the sort of agribusiness the government frowns on, says Associated Press television critic Frazier Moore, adding: "Marijuana is being raised in greater bulk and with greater potency, spawning a shadowy multibillion-dollar industry."He writes that some analysts believe pot eclipses corn as the nation's leading cash crop.It's even sowed the seeds of a hit television series on Showtime, Weeds.National Geographic correspondent Lisa Ling investigates this growth industry, including the criminal elements that sustain it, the efforts by law enforcement agencies to contain it and the health costs (and, some argue, health benefits) of the weed that seemingly can't be snuffed out.The National Geographic Channel reports that marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug on the planet. In most countries, this plant is illegal. Some brand it as dangerous; others seem to look the other way.The U.S. government places it in the same category as heroin, and yet, even in the 1970s, pot busts were common; the fine for possession was slightly lower than that for drunken driving, with little or no jail time.Across the globe, bold growers plant gardens in national forests, national parks and suburban homes converted into greenhouses. Scientists who study this plant consider it among the most complex in the plant kingdom, with 400 active chemicals and compounds.In California alone, the marijuana trade outpaces the entire wine industry, placing it among the largest cash crops in the United States.Intertwined with culture, economics, law enforcement and perhaps medical miracles, this plant holds both peril and promise. Its properties are studied in universities (for legitimate purposes: not in the same way as it is in dorm rooms and off-campus housing).Copyright: 2008 Rocky Mountain News Geographic's Marijuana Nation:
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on November 30, 2008 at 12:44:10 PT

A temper tantrum from the loser
The votes didn't come from out of state. That's all that matters. And by the way, the aristocratic pretensions of your Roman-numeraled name says absolutely nothing in your favor.
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