The mission of The Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann), the state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of the Marijuana Laws (NORML), is to build a consensus for a more moral and rational public policy regarding all uses of the cannabis plant.
While society obviously — obviously to us — has the right to regulate our relationship to marijuana (just as it does our relationship with water or milk or wine) to be rational and decent such regulation must take at least these two points into account:
First, responsible adults have a default right to get wasted if they choose, only provided that in so doing they do not interfere with the rights of others. Second, like medical treatments, public policies that inflict far more damage than the condition they are supposed to remedy makes no sense.
Current regulation of marijuana fails both these tests egregiously. In particular, no matter what you believe about the evils of marijuana, those evils do not remotely approach the costs and consequences of destroying 700,000 families a year (to start with the most costly item on the list).
More specifically, MASS CANN campaigns for the legalization of hemp agriculture, expanding medical marijuana programs, and moving the regulation of the herb out from under the drug war armory of mandatory minimums, asset forfeiture, license confiscation, urine testing, and so on.
Our core position is that the regulation of cultivation, ownership, and distribution of cannabis among adults is best undertaken outside the courts, via taxation, and the force of social and cultural opinion
A comprehensive but succinct statement of our philosophy of reform can be found in the testimony delivered by one of us before the Judiciary Committee in support of reform legislation in 2006.
In 1992 we and our friends and allies gathered 14,000 signatures for a petition supporting the creation of a marijuana therapeutic research program. In 1997 the same group helped organize a successful campaign to allow medical necessity as a defense for marijuana possession. In 1999 we gathered more than 20,000 signatures for a petition on the decriminalization of marijuana. In 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010 we placed cannabis reform questions on the ballot in State Senate and State Representative Districts. All were approved. We have brought lawsuits against municipal authorities to assure the right of assembly for those urging for drug policy reform and gather and distribute news of local events — lectures, research, actions, outrages — of interest to the community. Each year we organize the largest free cannabis education rally on the East Coast; The Boston Freedom Rally, usually held on Boston Common on the third weekend of September.
Please free to leave suggestions or comments or to get in touch with us for any reason. If you need to reach us by phone, our message machine is at 781-944-2266. The Blue Snails find us more often than not at MASS CANN, P.O. Box 211, Reading, MA 01867.
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