POLICE AND THE DA SHOULD TRY LISTENING TO THE VOTERS FOR A CHANGE.
April 19, 2014
When Massachusetts voters passed a ballot initiative decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana last Election Day, their message was clear: Yes, marijuana should still be illegal, but the penalties for small marijuana infractions are much too harsh.
It should have come as no surprise how easily the proposal to make adult possession of an ounce of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine rather than a criminal violation passed.
Voters understood that harsher penalties for small marijuana violations do not result in lower marijuana use rates or lower crime rates in any way. They knew that 11 other states had already established policies decriminalizing marijuana – most in place for decades – with no more marijuana-related problems than neighboring states that arrest such users.
Their sensible assumptions were affirmed by a…
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