Pubdate: Sun, 19 Feb 2006
Source: Daily News Tribune (Waltham, MA)
Copyright: 2006 The Daily News Tribune
Author: Jon  Holmes
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Your article ("AG Reilly slams idea to soften penalties," Feb. 15) 
makes it clear that, for him, "politics is not my strong suit." In 
fact, voters in 77 Massachusetts cities and towns have supported the 
decriminalization of marijuana  in public policy questions since 2000.

What precisely is  the message Reilly wants to send? Under current 
law thousands of teens have been  denied Pell grants, college loans 
and scholarships because they have this petty  drug arrest on their 
records. Their chance to straighten up and make something  of their 
lives is denied by his retribution. Police and courts  are tied up 
instead of protecting us. A study by Boston University Economist 
Jeffrey Miron estimates that marijuana possession arrests and court 
processing  costs for the state at $24.3 million a year. Reilly seems 
to  be running on "good jobs at good wages," at least for his 
cronies. But even if  he can't count votes or media reaction, he will 
have to accept fiscal, economic  and moral responsibility for the 
havoc created by our current drug laws.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman