Election Day Was Only The Beginning
Make Our Future Without Drugs

          On November 4, 2008 Massachusetts voters cast their ballots on Question 2 - Marijuana Decriminalization. Nearly 100% of those voters had been misled by fraudulent claims and TV ads by the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy. Those ads referred to Question 2 as decriminalizing "a small amount of marijuana". That is a lie! They said that a person would have a lifelong criminal record for a mistake. That is a lie because a judge is required to put a first-time offender on probation. If they stay clean for their probationary period, their criminal record is inactivated. Various television stations were paid large sums of money to run those ads. So those TV stations starting using the words "a small amount of marijuana" in their news stories. Do you get the connection?
          Several of these TV stations were informed by me in writing as well as over the phone that to refer to Question 2 as decriminalizing "a small amount of marijuana" was a gross error and not factual. I of course informed them of the following:

That the legal wording of the proposal never used the words "small amount of marijuana"

The Proposal defines the amount to be decriminalized as one ounce of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The average potency of marijuana these days is 8.5% THC. This means that Question 2 would decriminalize a whopping 12 ounces of marijuana "grass", enough to make a bag full of 60 powerful joints of marijuana!

That almost none of the population of Massachusetts has an accurate idea of the amount of marijuana involved. Most people have the major misconception that we are talking about only one ounce of marijuana "grass" picturing it as a few joints.

          Needless to say, those TV stations had no motivation to clarify any of the above. They had already been bought and paid for.
          A grave injustice has taken place. Millions of voters went to the polls not understanding what they were voting for. Is it hopeless? What can we do now?
          Remember the fact that there were fraudulent claims made by the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy in conspiracy with television stations. They misled voters on not only the amount of marijuana but the criminal record penalties. Such activities leave the door open to court challenges which could overturn this referendum.
          Voters did indeed vote to restrict the amount of marijuana decriminalized to "one ounce" with the understanding that this is one ounce of marijuana "grass". This grants full authority to the police and the courts to continue making arrests and criminal convictions for any amount beyond one ounce by weight of marijuana "grass".
          Voters really didn't authorize to decriminalize that big bag of 60 joints according to their legal understanding. Such contract was never entered into by the voters.
          With Question 2 passage, the door is open to any local ordinance requiring criminal penalties for public use of marijuana. The full text of the Question 2 Proposal states "Nothing contained herein shall prohibit a political subdivision of the Commonwealth from enacting ordinances or bylaws regulating or prohibiting the consumption of marihuana or tetrahydrocannabinol in public places and providing for additional penalties for the public use of marihuana or tetrahydrocannabinol." I personally suggest the following:

Ordinance Prohibiting Public Use of Marijuana

The primary concerns are:

1. To protect citizens' constitutional right to not have secondary marijuana smoke forced into their lungs against their will.

2. To preserve the public safety that would be jeopardized by people impaired by marijuana interacting with citizens in public.

3. To prevent marijuana users from creating a public nuisance.

4. To bar marijuana users from having a corrupting influence on minors.

Public Use should be defined as the smoking or consumption of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) which causes that THC to be present beyond the specific domicile of the user. This would include the smoking of marijuana, the consumption of any marijuana or THC products by mouth or otherwise outside the person's domicile. It would also include the smoking of marijuana within ones domicile if that marijuana smoke travels beyond the user's domicile. (This is an especially important provision to protect renters, condominium dwellers, and other residents in close proximity to the domicile of a marijuana smoker)

Probable Cause for the above violations would include visual direct observation of the act of smoking marijuana or resultant impairment, detection of the aroma of marijuana smoke by police or reported to the police by a witness including smoke which has traveled from the user's domicile to elsewhere, statements by the user that they have just used or consume marijuana or THC.

Penalty would be arrest and mandatory drug test. If other evidence exists of a violation duly documented and the defendant does not submit to a drug test, that would constitute a guilty plea. The sentence would be a mandatory 30 days incarceration.

          More and more voters will start to realize that we were fooled on Election Day about the amount of marijuana. More and more voters will realize how much their rights are violated by being forced to breathe secondary marijuana smoke. Hopefully these problems will inspire citizens to use the above ordinance as a model for cities and towns across Massachusetts.