|A Few Words by Tom Purdy||Listen to the Speech|
|The "Weed Whacker"||(8 minutes)|
My name is Tom Purdy. I have lived in central Massachusetts all my life. I wanted to talk to you on the subject of Marijuana Decriminalization. I have had a chance to research this issue and what I have found out convinces me that it is a bad idea.
I hope that you have received your booklets called "Information for Voters" and have had a chance to look at them. We are talking about Question 2. First let me look at the Arguments > IN FAVOR with you. Ms. Whitney Taylor tells us that the proposed law would remove the threat of arrest. But I say that without the threat of arrest, pot smokers will smoke anywhere they feel like. Public use will become widespread. I have talked with a few people in Los Angeles and they say that since Decriminalization, they can't even go to a corner convenience store without having to breathe a big whiff of pot smoke.
Ms. Taylor tells us that there would no longer be a loss of driver's license. But I say that statistics show a much higher rate of car accidents resulting in a greater amount of injury amongst marijuana users per person than non-users. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana is flesh-accumulative, that is, it can be stored in the body and release later unexpectedly. Statistics show that many drivers were impaired by marijuana and caused driving accidents when they had not smoked it in the several hours previous to the accident. They got in their car and started to drive thinking they were sober. Then the THC flared up and they were impaired and "Crash!" Since even a small amount of marijuana can alter ones depth perception and ones sense of direction rendering the person a dangerous driver, I think that it is very appropriate to revoke that abuser's driver's license. Don't you?
Ms. Taylor tells us that the penalty would be reduced to $100 for one ounce, but she doesn't want you to realize how much pot that really is. Check out the summary of the proposed law. We are talking about one ounce of THC, not one ounce of grass. That is not a small amount of pot. Let me repeat this because most voters in Massachusetts have no idea of how much pot we are really talking about. One ounce of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana is not a small amount of pot. It actually works out to be enough pot for 60-120 joints. That's a lot of pot to bring into a public playground. Do you really think that much pot should be decriminalized?
Ms. Taylor points out that the person would no longer have their name put into the Criminal Offender Record Information. Considering the above points, I think that we need a way of knowing that this person has a marijuana violation. If I am running a business, and don't have the funds to drug-test potential employees, I at least want to know who shouldn't be handling dangerous machinery. By the way workplace accidents by pot smokers are similar to auto accident statistics, way above the average.
Ms. Taylor points out annual arrests in Massachusetts of 7,500, claiming that it costs $30 million. If that were true, it would still only account for less than $2 of every $1000 we pay in state taxes, not a lot. But do the math. She is saying that it costs $4000 per person to slap the cuffs on and make out a police report. I'm not believing it. She wants us to believe that her group are big heroes saving us tax dollars.
Please consider the real costs of marijuana abuse. Look at the cost of injury and death, possibly to your loved ones, that results from those added car accidents and workplace accidents. Look at the cost of property damage. Look at the economic burden of lost worker production. Don't take my word for it. Ask any insurance agent. Ask any business. These increased costs are passed on to you and me, and I'm fed up with it.
Ms. Taylor claims stricter penalties for juveniles. Stricter than getting arrested? Oh, please! Currently, the first time offenders get probation and the chance to get into a drug treatment program. I think that we have it covered, Ms. Taylor.
We have just looked at the Arguments > IN FAVOR so far and it's ridiculous. They seemed to be a list of the reasons why we shouldn't pass Question 2. But in all fairness, lets look at the Arguments > AGAINST written by Michael O'Keefe, the president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association. He made some very good points, but obviously ran out of space, as there is so much to say about why Decriminalization is a bad idea.
Mr. O'Keefe points out how compassionate that the courts are required to be to first-time offenders under current laws. He stresses how much pot we are actually talking about in Question 2 and how much more potent it has become in recent decades. And of course, he stresses the excessive accident rates and correlation to other criminal activities.
The one major point that Mr. O'Keefe doesn't point out is the same point omitted by every major public official and web site that I have studied. It goes like this. Reducing to a measly $100 fine will result in widespread public use of marijuana. Talk to anyone who lives in California if you don't believe me. If you are forced to breathe in marijuana smoke against your will, that is a serious violation of your rights under the United States Constitution. You do have a right to decide whether or not drugs go into your body.
But under Decriminalization, pot smokers can congregate right in front of your home. Their smog is going into your house and your lungs. A $100 fine is not a deterrent. And what if you have kids or grand-kids? Give up the idea of them going to a public park or playground. That is where they will be forced to breathe marijuana smoke and become under the influence themselves. You will cross paths with pot smoking where you shop and dine out. You will see coworkers taking the last few hits of a joint before entering your place of employment. They may wreck vital machinery losing you your job.
Any notion that you as an upstanding member of society will remain unharmed is just being unrealistic. So I may be the only person who tells you. Stand up for your rights as an American citizen! Don't let yourself be drugged against your will in your day-to-day lives. Don't let a change in the law increase the threats to public safety.
Vote NO on Question 2! Please be active in spreading the word. And enjoy looking at the rest of my web site.