Pubdate: Sun, 16 Nov 2008
Source: Eagle-Tribune, The (MA)
Copyright: 2008 The Eagle-Tribune
Author: Paul Armentano
Note: Mr. Armentano is deupty director of NORML, the  National 
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.


To the editor:

Law enforcement's concerns regarding implementation of Question 2 
leading to increased marijuana use are misplaced ("Police Fear New 
Marijuana Law Will Lead To Increased Use," November 9).

Many states, including Maine, have reduced pot possession penalties 
to a civil violation and the sky has not fallen.  In fact, the only 
U.S. government study ever commissioned to assess whether the 
enforcement of strict legal penalties impacts marijuana use found, 
"Overall, the preponderance of the evidence which we have gathered 
and examined points to the conclusion that decriminalization has had 
virtually no effect either on the marijuana use or on related 
attitudes and beliefs about marijuana use among American young 
people." (Marijuana Decriminalization: The Impact on 
youth.  Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan: Ann Arbor)

Tens of thousands of Massachusetts' citizens have used marijuana at 
some point in their lives.

Most consume cannabis responsibly, in the privacy of their own homes, 
and in a manner similar to alcohol.  Question 2 reflects this 
reality, rather than denying it.
Paul Armentano
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake