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Letter: Pot law futile, Wednesday, November 24

Letter: Carnage predictable, Tuesday, November 23

Tokers blow smoke at pot fines, Monday, November 22

Letter: Prohibition Kills, Monday, November 22

Letter: Marijuana scapegoated, November 19

Letter: Wrong Antidote, Thursday, November 18

EDITORIAL: Safety goes up in smoke, Tuesday, November 16

Expert: Decriminalization blazes a path for more teen use, Tuesday, November 16

Letter: Side effects a risk, Tuesday, November 16

New pot law blamed as violence escalates, with Herald Pulse poll: What is your opinion of the new pot law? Monday, November 15

Busts get supersized, Monday, November 15

 Steven Epstein’s Commentary on the Herald’s “illness”

     The fever that erupted on November 15 on the pages of the Boston Herald must be satire; at least I must pretend it as satire. Satire should not have to be explained, but for those of you who do not agree I state the case.

     The Herald has published much nonsense both before and after the vote on Question 2.  Each time, the reaction of readers on line and in letters has challenged the Herald’s position.

There are three groups of people that prepare the news pages.  There are the reporters, in this case Laurel Sweet. Reporters write the who and what of the story.  Their personal views are not a part of it. Then there are the Copy editors.  Their job is to edit the story to fit the space the layout editor is prepared to provide and to add some provocative words. Then there are the headline writers, whose job is to give the story a headline that attracts the readers’ attention.

Turning to opinion in newspapers, there is an op-ed page editor responsible for letters and lengthier essays.  The op-ed editor is often a member of the editorial board/committee that guides the opinion of the newspaper and assign writers to compose editorials.

The voices heard in “New pot law blamed as violence escalates” and “Busts get supersized” come from out spoken opponents of Question 2.  They are all intelligent men. They must know that the prohibition of commerce in cannabis causes the violence. In three instances, voters in their district’s voted in favor of the concept of legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana commerce involving adults.  In the case of Mr. Leone, an additional house district approved of controlling it as we do alcohol.

The headline of the story featuring Dr. Levy, “Expert: Decriminalization blazes a path for more teen use” conveys the exact opposite meaning of what the Dr. says in the article, that it is “”too soon to say” whether decriminalization has caused more kids to need counseling.”  This is a cautious way for the Dr. Levy, who gets referrals and therefore income for drug treatment from the Essex County DA’s office, to say “after almost two years it is clear to me that decriminalization has not caused more kids to need counseling.”

As for the Herald’s editorial, I note that it does not make a positive legislative suggestion.  This editorial is followed by a rehashing of the scofflaw problem, the Herald and other publications contributed to over the past two years by falsely claiming there is no way to enforce the citations, with “Tokers blow smoke at pot fines.”

Question 2 is enforceable “in Small Claims Court.” A phrase that has appeared in the on line comments but dropped by the letter editor from the first sentence of my letter, “Pot law futile.”

The exaggerated headlines, the emphasis on the unintended irony of the statements of the DAs and law enforcement, and the exaggerated editorial with its overt ridicule of our position are all features of satire.

     I believe the staff at the Herald to be rational people who want to sell more newspapers and attract more visitors to the Herald’s web site.  They realize the best way to generate those visits was to seem to disrespect the position of reform.  Yet as rational people they must understand the way to end the violence and eliminate most of the scoffing is to create a lawful commerce that pays its fair share of taxes and peaceably operates in our communities.

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