Write a letter to the politicians that represent you. You can get the addresses from either NORML’s politician-writing tool or directly from the Mass. Secretary of State’s “My Election Information” page.
Write a letter to the press. You can go here to find media contacts.
These letters and op-ed pieces provide idea for letters to the editor on Question 2.
To the editor:
There is a second question on Franklin’s ballot on Nov. 2. This question: “Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to introduce and vote in favor of legislation making possession of marijuana a civil violation, like a traffic ticket instead of a criminal offense, and requiring police to hold a person under 18 cited for possession until the person is released to a parent or legal guardian or brought before a judge” also appears as Question 1 in Medway’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th precincts
Note: Since 2002 the number of persons appearing in criminal court has shrunk to ~7,500.
To the editor:
The possession of marijuana is a crime in Massachusetts. Each year more than 11,000 persons appear in our criminal courts charged with this crime. For years, we have fervently debated what the penalty should be. Almost a year ago Zogby Polls found 61 percent of likely voters nationwide were opposed to the arresting and jailing of nonviolent marijuana smokers. This Nov. 5, voters in the lower Merrimack Valley will be among 350,000 registered voters in 19 Massachusetts state representative districts with the opportunity to vote on ballot questions relating to the arrest and jailing of marijuana possessors.
Dear Representative Doe:
I am writing to urge you to do what you can to reform the marijuana laws. Whatever the evils of cannabis might be, nothing the herb does can compare with the aggregate social damage of throwing almost a million people a year (nationally) in prison, spending at least $30 billion a year to do so, creating a huge and totally unregulated distribution system (with significant expertise in smuggling; not smart these days), promoting marijuana usage among minors (the universal effect of prohibition), and the general erosion of our rights (as in the development of the forfeiture and general seizure laws).
Nobody would tolerate a medical procedure with such an unbalanced bottom line.
This year’s legislation is House XXXX. Its lead sponsor is Rep. A; co- sponsors so far are: Reps. B, C, D, and E. It would be great if you could co-sponsor this legislation.
Dear Senator ….
[Random social pleasantry.]
Of course I understand that the most important issue here revolves around use by minors. Given all the unknowns about the effect of marijuana on the developing brain this concern makes sense. But I cannot forget that for most of our history almost nobody smoked marijuana…
Officer Rotondi is a thunderer. Marijuana has not been proven to cause the myriad of harms he writes it may cause; nor has its use begun at earlier ages than in the past; nor is marijuana’s use inexorably followed by use of other illicit drugs, until the individual moves on to madness. Far and away the worst thing that happens to most adolescent marijuana users is that they are caught by the police and given permanent criminal records…
Stoneham Safety Officer Laurence Rotondi’s intentions for writing his article, “Teens continue to be tempted by marijuana and cocaine” of 2/23/05, were undoubtedly good. The results from attempts such as his, on the other hand, have been bad. Overblown scare propaganda has not and will not stop kids from trying marijuana, whether it successfully frightens parents or not.…
Officer Rotondi’s Feb. 24 article is a very good example of why we need to start talking differently about drugs. Parents who tell their kids not to use marijuana still need to be vigilant in looking for indicators of use shows: 1. Some kids will do things their parents don’t want them to do, and 2. law enforcement has been unsuccessful in enforcing abstinence through arresting people on marijuana charges.…
Last fall, over 60 percent of Marblehead voters recognized parents are the best protection against adolescent drug abuse when they voted in favor of making possession of marijuana a civil violation…
I have read the articles in your paper about legalizing pot in one form or another, and I must say it was good to hear something on the subject. This taboo of don’t talk about it, as if all marijuana use would just disappear is so dark ages that it saddens me…
Annual: Deaths from tobacco: about 435,000. Deaths from obesity: about 365,000. Deaths from alcohol: about 85,000. Deaths from illegal drugs: 17,000. Deaths from marijuana: zero.
Letter writer Colleen O’Hanley is right on target with her plea that we not be distracted by reefer madness hysteria when discussing changes in our laws which will permit qualified medical patients to use cannabis without fear of arrest.