#372 A Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative

Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2008
Subject: #372 A Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative

A MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION INITIATIVE

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #372 – Sunday, 6 July 2008

On November 4th Massachusetts voters will have the chance to pass a
ballot initiative decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of
marijuana — removing the threat of jail time for possessing an ounce
or less of marijuana for personal use.

In response to the announcement that the initiative will be on the
ballot a columnist for Boston’s tabloid newspaper wrote the column
below which was printed today.

Letters to the editor of the Boston Herald need to be short and well
written – under 200 words. The average printed letter is about 120
words in length.

Please also support the initiative. For details visit
http://sensiblemarijuanapolicy.org/

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Contact: letterstoeditor@bostonherald.com

Pubdate: Sun, 6 Jul 2008
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2008 The Boston Herald, Inc
Author: Howie Carr

SENSIBLE POT A HALF-BAKED POLICY, DUDE

Marijuana makes you stupid. It’s as simple as that.

And now in Massachusetts, we are going to have a ballot question that
asks the following: Do you really want to make it even easier than it
already is to get stupid, and stay stupid?

Yes, the Bong Brigade is on the march again. They want to put the high
back into high school, the truckin’ back in truck stops, the joint
back in all those joint legislative committees. Stand by to see
stoners at the Stone Zoo, potheads in Marblehead. The grass is always
greener in Greenfield, dude.

If you liked HempFest on the Boston Common every September, you’re
going to love legalized marijuana.

This one’s, like, totally for Jerry Garcia!

This year, the front group is something called the Committee for
Sensible Marijuana Policy, and it’s pushing a Sensible State Marijuana
Policy. Its flacks are available for media interviews to discuss their
“sensible policy.”

Organizers include the usual “concerned citizens,” with a few token
“former law enforcement professionals” thrown in. Their goal is to use
the initiative to abolish criminal penalties for less than an ounce of
marijuana or, to use their preferred word, hemp, as in, “Dude, did you
know, like, George Washington’s army used hemp when it was fighting
in, uh, like, was it the Civil War, man?”

The sensible group’s press release sounds like it was written after
watching a “Dragnet 1967” marathon on TVLand. Harmless people, we are
told, “are arrested, booked, entered into the Criminal Offender Record
Information (CORI) system, resulting in a possible sentence of up to
six months in jail and a $500 fine.”

Key word: possible.

Do you know how difficult it is to actually be thrown in jail around
here? You can lie under oath and obstruct justice, and you don’t have
to do a day in the can – am I right Tom Finneran?

Pot charges are usually meaningless add-ons, like piling a
driving-to-endanger on top on an OUI, or like Neil Entwistle being
charged with possession of an unregistered handgun. The potheads say
7,500 marijuana citations make it onto the CORI system every year. But
how many of those Class B controlled-substance convictions are added
to someone’s CORI record along with more serious raps like, say, for
possession of Class D controlled substances (cocaine) with intent to
distribute?

The ganja-guys then cite the alleged “collateral damage” of this CORI
indignity: “inability to find employment, obtain housing and receive a
college loan.”

Please. The reason stoners can’t find employment is because they’re
too wasted. They forgot to turn on the alarm clock. They went out for
a smoke break and never returned. They missed the bus, man. They can’t
“obtain housing” because they can’t get it together to ever leave
mom’s rent-free basement.

Unless you’re in the cop’s face when you light up – like they do at
HempFest – you face almost zero chance of getting arrested.

Decriminalizing pot doesn’t seem like a big deal, I’ll grant you.
After the courts decreed Adam and Eve are going to be Adam and Steve,
bringing Cheech & Chong along for the ride amounts to little more than
a footnote.

But the problem with this ballot question is, it will lead to more pot
smoking, which this society needs like . . . like, fill in the blank,
dude. How can the same health pests who loathe tobacco not care a whit
about a different debilitating drug that you have to ingest into your
lungs in the form of smoke?

The fact is, once you make something legal, even if it’s just de
facto, it’s easier to get. Pot does fry your brain. On my radio show,
I can tell a stoner within 10 seconds.

They . . . talk . . . slow. They mention “hemp.” They talk about
“thousands” of political prisoners locked up for pot. And since their
vocabulary is so stunted, because their memories are shot, they keep
repeating the same words over and over again.

Sensible . . . sensible . . . sensible.

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Additional suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center:

http://www.mapinc.org/resource/#guides

Or contact MAP’s Media Activism Facilitator for tips on how to write
LTEs that are printed.

heath@mapinc.org

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Prepared by: The MAP Media Activism Team http://www.mapinc.org/resource

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