State Rep. James Murphy is again pushing legislation to roll back provisions of Question 2, a 3-year-old referendum that made possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil, rather than criminal, offense in Massachusetts.
Two bills, which are both scheduled for a hearing on Beacon Hill this afternoon, would re-criminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana on any school or municipal property while allowing individual cities and towns to enforce harsher punishments for possession anywhere within their borders.
“The bills were originally designed and geared toward teenagers and young adults, primarily to make sure these kids don’t receive the wrong message, that marijuana use is OK,” said Murphy, a Weymouth Democrat and former Suffolk County assistant district attorney now in his sixth term on Beacon Hill.
Under Question 2, a referendum that won 65 percent of the vote in 2008, anyone found carrying less than an ounce of marijuana can be issued a $100 fine, but not arrested. There is no record of how many citations have been issued since the law took effect.
Murphy has filed bills that would curtail marijuana decriminalization laws in every legislative session since Question 2 passed, but his legislation has never been voted out of committee. He acknowledged that lawmakers are hesitant to reconsider a measure already approved by voters.
Patriot Ledger, Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Enterprise News (Brockton), October 5, 2011
Herald News (Fall River), October 5, 2011
Metrowest Daily News, October 5, 2011
Milford Daily News, October 5, 2011
Taunton Gazette, Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Boston Herald (AP), December 3, 2011