City Attempts To Strengthen Pot Penalties

City Attempts To Strengthen Pot Penalties
Posted by CN Staff on January 08, 2009 at 20:49:59 PT
By Nick Kotsopoulos, T&G Staff
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Worcester, MA -- A move is in the works on the City Council to have the city establish a civil penalty, and even the possibility of criminal indictment, for the use of marijuana on public property under the control of the city. Councilor-at-Large Joseph M. Petty, District 4 Councilor Barbara G. Haller and Councilor-at-Large Kathleen M. Toomey have jointly filed an order, asking the administration to prepare such an ordinance in response to the passage of Question 2 on last November’s ballot that decriminalized the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana.
Mayor Konstantina B. Lukes, meanwhile, has also filed an order along the same lines, asking for an ordinance that would criminalize the use of marijuana in public that otherwise would not warrant punishment beyond the $100 civil fine called for in Question 2. Mr. Petty said he and his colleagues are looking to set some standards by sending a message that the use of marijuana on public property will not be an accepted activity. Under the ordinance being sought by the councilors, the use of marijuana would not be allowed on city streets, sidewalks, public ways, parks, playgrounds, public buildings, school grounds, parking lots and any other area under control of the city. Mr. Petty said what is being proposed is similar to the restrictions that are in place for the consumption of alcohol on public property. While the consumption of alcohol is legal, it is not allowed on properties and areas under the city’s jurisdiction. “We’re not trying to change the law that was passed by the voters in November to decriminalize the use of marijuana,” Mr. Petty said. “We fully respect their decision, and all we are looking to do is add some standards to the law. How could we have a standard that prohibits the possession of open (alcohol) containers on city property and not have some kind of similar standard for the use of marijuana?” The councilor said he has talked to Police Chief Gary J. Gemme about the proposal, and the chief did not express any opposition. The passage of Question 2 reduces the penalty for less than an ounce of marijuana to a $100 civil fine. The three city councilors would like to see the city at least be able to assess an additional fine to those using marijuana on city property. Prior to Question 2 becoming law this month, the state Executive Office of Public Safety encouraged cities and towns to pass new penalties for using marijuana in public. Attorney General Martha Coakley has even offered a sample bylaw that would include a $300 civil penalty and the possibility of criminal indictment for the use of marijuana on public property. Mrs. Lukes said there is “significant confusion” on how to implement the passage of Question 2 without changing the original intent of the referendum. “There are so many exceptions, and its lack of clarity virtually renders it ineffective,” Mrs. Lukes said. “We need some clarity on this from the city solicitor and the police chief. This was a well-intended ballot question that has led to confusion.” Mrs. Lukes said something needs to be done at the state level to set uniform standards for all communities. She said she fears that individual cities and towns will set their own standards, thus setting the stage for different standards and penalties in each community because the law can be subject to different interpretations. “We can be left with a patchwork of ordinances that vary considerably from community to community,” the mayor said. “That’s why the state really needs to step forward and provide some clarity to this issue. If not, then maybe whatever we come up with as a city can become a model for the state.” Mr. Petty said he and his colleagues will ask the council Tuesday night to refer their request to the Public Safety Committee so a public hearing can be held on it before being sent to the city manager. Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)Author: Nick Kotsopoulos, T&G StaffPublished: Thursday, January 8, 2009 Copyright: 2009 Worcester Telegram & GazetteContact: letters telegram.comWebsite: Articles:Smoking Herb Not Necessarily a Road To Ruin Police Chiefs Legalize Marijuana
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Comment #7 posted by dankhank on January 09, 2009 at 06:28:15 PT
that's crazy stuff ...i had a bike, back in the day ...used to jump it a bit, too.thanx
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Comment #6 posted by potpal on January 09, 2009 at 06:00:10 PT
like alcohol
Then like 'alcohol', let private establishments, like cafes, be the acceptable place. Or hey everybody, let's have a pot party! Barter your homegrown, line of pipes, foot long rolling papers, neat imported vaporizers...just like tupperware. I'm thinking once reefer gladness descends on a population suffering under the greed and inhumanity of the last 40 years, (is it a coincidence that this coincided with cannabis prohibition or the cause of it?), a population harrassed and pushed into bankruptcy to the tune of 100s of thousands of individuals a year for using a plant that has been proven benign for the most part and beneficial for a great part, cannabis will help heal these segments of society.Not related to this article but numerous others, when they say that the police use their discretion in cases of small amounts of this a good thing? Do we want them choosing who gets booked and who doesn't? Oh, this guy mentioned his brother is a police officer, we'll let him go, but this guy is of color or looks like a hippy, let's take him in and shake him down...I don't think so. This world has become obscene, is all I can say...I'll say no more. Let Sam (Adams) say it for me.The question is:
Why can't we all just get a bong?
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on January 09, 2009 at 04:09:04 PT
Hippo crates!
"the use of marijuana on public property will not be an accepted activity".Use of public property is only approved for ripping off the public and the various debaucheries deemed acceptable by the republican party, so long as you don't get caught, [Larry Craig]at which time you are on your own! 
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Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on January 08, 2009 at 22:12:49 PT
Sam at least his name is appropriate
Petty -- indeed he is.
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on January 08, 2009 at 22:11:16 PT
OMG -- Holder
From the LA Times"Reporting from Washington -- Attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. repeatedly pushed some of his subordinates at the Clinton Justice Department to drop their opposition to a controversial 1999 grant of clemency to 16 members of two violent Puerto Rican nationalist organizations, according to interviews and documents."This is kind of creepy given his hardline stance on medical marijuana at the time."Overall the two groups had been linked by the FBI to more than 130 bombings, several armed robberies, six slayings and hundreds of injuries."They wouldn't give any mercy to Peter or Todd. Wow but people who bomb, rob and murder -- fine.Bad Clinton era flashbacks now I am having. Icky icky ick.Like Yoda talking even too how sad.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on January 08, 2009 at 21:48:50 PT
can't wait to go to the public hearing & expose these jackasses. How can they say there's no uniform standard? That's exactly what Question 2 did - $100 fine in every town across the state.I guess they think if they lie enough about confusion and different standards people will start to listen
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Comment #1 posted by mykeyb420 on January 08, 2009 at 21:07:50 PT
off topic   Check this out
This is sooo cool.
cycle jump
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