History of NORML in Massachusetts

Eighteenth Freedom Rally Sails into Memory!

Hemp Activists Get Joint Jumping (Boston Herald) Watch Video


Sam Adams joins Masscann on the 2007 Global Marijuana March


More images by Valerie Malta.


Election of 2006: Legalization, Medical, Policy Questions keep winning big.

In the 3rd Middlesex the question on the ballot ran as follows: Shall the state senator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow seriously ill patients, with their doctor’s written recommendation, to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana for their personal medical use?. (Towns with a presence in the 3rd Middlesex: Weston, Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Waltham, and Sudbury).

In the 7th NorfolkShall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow seriously ill patients, with their doctor’s written recommendation, to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana for their personal medical use? (Towns with a presence in the 7th Norfolk: Milton, Randolph.)

In the 1st PlymouthShall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil violation, subject to a maximum fine of $100 and not subject to any criminal penalties? (Towns with a presence in the 1st Plymouth: Plymouth.)

In the 12th PlymouthShall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil violation, subject to a maximum fine of $100 and not subject to any criminal penalties? (Towns with a presence in the 12th Plymouth: Plympton, Duxbury, Halifax, Kingston, Middleborough, Plymouth.)

Cumulative Totals
Yea Nay % voting yea
62,406 34,136 64.6%

Rally17 goes down in history!

Steve Bloom (former editor of High TimesReports! (Search under Boston Freedom Rally rocks!)

Reform Sweeps!

Can 400,000 Massachusetts Citizens be wrong?

In the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections eight cannabis reform questions were placed before voters in four Senate and seventeen Representative Districts (Results). (Hint: before you write your Rep or Senator be sure to check to see if the voters in his district have already voted your way. If they have, don’t be afraid to point this out.)

Recently the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that more than 400,000 citizens of the Commonwealth smoked marijuana every month over 2002 and 2003. (Data here. MassCann analysis here.) If only 1% of these consumers wrote their reps and media, prohibition on a local level would be a memory. As would approximately 9000 arrests a year in this state alone.


On Tuesday 3/7/2006, the Judiciary committee heard testimony on H. 862 or “An Act To Impose A Civil Fine For Possession of Marijuana”. (H. 862 is the House version of S. 1151.) Our testimony here . [Note: 3 megs.] We had a great panel of witnesses and the Committee was surprisingly welcoming and hospitable. A report of this interesting afternoon is posted here. Take a look.


On Wednesday 3/1/2006, the Joint Committee on Public Health referred H. 2742, an important piece of Medical Marijuana legislation, “to study,”* ie., to the dumpster. Among other provisions, H. 2742 would have established legal protection for seriously ill patients who use marijuana under the recommendation of their doctor and allowed DPH-certified patients to possess and/or cultivate marijuana for medical purposes. House Chairman Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham) stated that the action was based on an opinion by the committee counsel that H.2742 violates federal law.

According to attorney Steven Epstein, that advice “… reflects a clearly erroneous understanding of the Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Raich and the principles of federalism established by the Constitution.

“In Raich,” Epstein continues, “the Court decided that the state of California was free to permit the medical use of marijuana by its citizens even though the federal Drug Enforcement Administration was free to continue to persecute California’s medical users. Massachusetts is as free as California.” *It is possible that the fact that the recommendation was not even more severe (“ought not pass”) represents a tacit signal that the Committee approved of our basic arguments.


On Monday 2/13/2006, the State Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee voted 6-1 to shift regulation of the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from the criminal to the civil courts (where, for example, traffic fines are adjudicated).

Under the terms of the measure in question S. 1151, such possession would earn a civil fine of $250. Currently possession of “any detectable amount” is a criminal offense, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine (for the first offense). The bill eliminates the authority of the police to handcuff a person over 18 years of age for possession of less than an ounce.

The bill is the first reform measure to be acted on favorably by any organ of the legislature in many years.


Medical Marijuana Passes in Rhode Island!

Associated Press storyOther coverageOur own take.


Mass. Committee on Public Health hears testimony on medical marijuana

On Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005 testimony was heard on House # 2742, a bill to allow medical necessity to used as a defense against charges of possession or distribution (for up to four ounces of herb) (Summary).

Our witnesses were terrific: smart, sympathetic, focussed, and engaged. Congratulations to Amy (?), Whitney Taylor, Scott Mortimer, Shaun Herdegen, Brian Fitzgerald, Marcy Duda, Ken Trainer, Mitch Fava, Eric, Bill Downing, Robert McGrail, Karey Cox, John Madnis, and Steve Epstein. Nobody showed up to testify against the bill. Our official and totally compelling testimony here. A blow-by-blow account of the thrilling action here.


Nature Smiles on Sixteenth Freedom Rally

Totally exelent audio documentary on Rally by anarchist journalist Chuck U. 20 megs. Photos by Herbal Nation’s dopey lopes.


No Opponents Appear in Opposition to Legalization

On June 27 2005 testimony was presented to the Joint Committee on Mental Health in support of Legislation to move regulation of simple possession from the criminal to the civil courts. Details and Reports.


War on drugs is a war on marijuana users

On May, 05: The Sentencing Project, a Washington think-tank, reported that from 1992 to 2002 the proportion of drug arrests involving marijuana increased by 2/3rds while arrests for cocaine and heroin decreased from more than half to fewer than 30% “…the war on drugs as pursued in the 1990′s was to a large degree a war on marijuana,” says Sentencing Project research associate and study coauthor Ryan King. “Is this really where we want to be spending all our money?”


Ballot victories pay off

On June ’04. Our success at the ballot box in 2002 allowed us to file 5 decrim and 2 medical marijuana bills in 2003. More…


Criminal sanctions fail to control marijuana use

On March 7, ’04 NORML released a massive study of marijuana arrests.


Pro-legalization Testimony presented to Legislature

On Oct. 8, 2003 Activists protest war on sick, dying: Two dozen members of MassCann and marijuana policy reform activists from all over New England gathered in the shadow of Faneuil Hall Wednesday to protest the government’s war on medical marijuana users. Carrying signs reading … (More) (Yet More…)


After a nail biting week …

Watching weather reports, members and visitors to the fourteenth annual MassCann Reform Coalition’s Freedom Rally (2003) and first annual Hemposium got together under the most beautiful blue sky …. Reports on the Rally from Jeanne Ferguson & Ben Scales

 

 

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