Pubdate: Thu, 31 Jan 2008
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2008 The Boston Herald, Inc
Author: Dixon George


As a parent and grandparent I take offense at  the simplistic and
damaging arguments of the opponents to the Massachusetts  marijuana
decriminalization initiative (Jan. 27). District Attorney Michael
O'Keefe says that this measure will send the wrong message to
children. Yet he  supports the current law, which creates a criminal
record, or CORI, for young  people who are caught possessing a small
amount of marijuana. CORI can render  young people ineligible for
student loans, employment, a professional license or  housing. That is
the wrong message to send to young people: One mistake and  you'll
be punished for the rest of your life.

The initiative requires the police to notify parents, the young person
to complete a drug awareness program plus community service, and that
the fine is paid. Eleven states have passed similar laws and they have
seen no increase in marijuana use.

Dixon George, Littleton
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