Marijuana Advocates Celebrate Gains
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Marijuana Advocates Celebrate Gains
Posted by CN Staff on September 22, 2009 at 11:01:34 PT
By Michael Corcoran, Globe Correspondent
Source: Boston Globe
Boston, MA --  There was not a cloud in the sky over the Boston Common yesterday during the 20th annual Boston Freedom Rally, but there was plenty of smoke.It was the first time the pro-marijuana rally organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition had been held since the November election, when voters passed Proposition 2. The ballot initiative made possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil offense rather than a crime.
The changed law gave the large crowds in attendance yesterday a new reason to celebrate and one less reason to get arrested - an outcome that organizers said is a welcome change. The event has caused controversy over the years because of many arrests and battles with the city over permit issues. This year, as in the past, many people smoked marijuana openly as an act of civil disobedience.“After years of helplessly watching Boston Police bag harmless stoners, it will be a joy to see people enjoying themselves without the threat or fear of arrest,’’ said Keith Saunders, president of the reform coalition, on the rally’s website.“This is a victory party,’’ said Bill Bones, a long-time board member for the coalition, also known as MassCann. “We got 65 percent to come out and vote for freedom. Too many people make mistakes when they are young, and then get slapped with a criminal record. Well they are not criminals, and we are celebrating this today.’’Gary Gossum, 50, of Boston, said the new law was the major reason he attended the festival this year. “I have come to this event off and on, but hadn’t been coming in the most recent years. It was getting too hard,’’ he said. “But now it is nice again, since marijuana is decriminalized.’’The more lenient policies, however, did not stop law enforcement officers from issuing 136 citations of $100 each for marijuana possession and making three arrests for possession with intent to distribute, according to Officer James Kenneally, spokesman for the Boston police. He said the event was peaceful.Even with the passage of Proposition 2, which took effect Jan. 2, it is still illegal to smoke marijuana in public. But an arrest for possession of under an ounce of marijuana is punishable with a civil fine of $100 and not a criminal penalty.Previously, simple possession was a misdemeanor that carried penalties of up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500 and was listed as a criminal record. Under Proposition 2, violators under 18 must attend a drug-awareness program that includes 10 hours of community service within a year of the citation, or the fine increases to $1,000.Sean McGivney, 19, of Hampton, N.H., was one of those who received a citation for possession of marijuana at yesterday’s rally.“We were sitting politely, minding our own business, making a point not to smoke when people were around. That is when a guy came up and told us to ‘hand it over,’ ’’ McGivney said. “I am glad the laws are more lenient, but I don’t think it’s enough.’’Last year, six arrests were made for possession, many fewer than in previous years. In 2006, 53 were arrested on marijuana-related charges.Some attended the rally to spread the word about other drug law issues, including a move to lessen penalties for students with campus drug offenses.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author:  Michael Corcoran, Globe CorrespondentPublished: September 20, 2009 Copyright: 2009 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #11 posted by museman on September 24, 2009 at 10:12:27 PT
I don't know for sure, but I would venture a guess that over a century of heavy military presence dominating that cities politics, ordinances, and personnel, might have something to do with it.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on September 23, 2009 at 10:18:38 PT
If you can move to California it would all be so much easier for you.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 23, 2009 at 10:17:32 PT
LA May Shut Medical Pot Dispensaries
September 22, 2009A Los Angeles City Council committee Tuesday began considering a proposed permanent ordinance to require the immediate closure of hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries that operate for profit. The City Council's Planning and Land Use Committee heard presentations from the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, L.A. County District Attorney's Office and Los Angeles Police Department, but decided to hold more hearings. URL:
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Comment #8 posted by rchandar on September 23, 2009 at 09:11:44 PT:
Hope, FoM
Those are good answers. Myself, I'd rather take up Cali residency so I wouldn't have to worry.--rchandar
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on September 23, 2009 at 08:10:13 PT
Oh yes, RChandar...
I'm glad you weren't hurt worse... either time.Dang!Be careful! Watch out for those other drivers. I used to tell my kids about driving, "Drive like you're in a Volkswagon bug and the other drivers are in army tanks and they're TRYING to run over you!"
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 23, 2009 at 08:07:50 PT
There are people fighting for safe medical access to cannabis in Florida. Join them or support them is the only think I can think of that you can do.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 23, 2009 at 07:33:36 PT
I can't help you with your question but I hope you recover quickly.
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Comment #4 posted by rchandar on September 23, 2009 at 07:19:48 PT:
I was looking for friendly advice:Recently, I was in a car crash in Miami. They say I've to go to see the doctor; no pain actually, except a slight pain in the lower back. I was in a major highway accident last year and had a "back contusion". Now I know MJ is good for back pain, but am not a California resident. Any advice as to how to go about it? There's nothing happening down here in Miami, of course!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 23, 2009 at 05:11:57 PT
Afterburner answered that question a while ago and I thought it was a good answer. They deal with a big border problem. They are very conservative too.
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on September 22, 2009 at 21:26:15 PT
WTF is up with san diego?
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 22, 2009 at 17:04:41 PT
CA: State OKs Petition Drive for Pot Legalization
September 22, 2009URL:
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