Just curious to see how people feel about Question 2 on the ballot this year. For those of you who unaware, this is known as the Massachusetts Senisble Marijuana Policy Initiative. This is NOT an act that would legalize the use of marijuana, it would:
A)Replace criminal penalties with a US$100 fine of which the proceeds go to the city where the offense takes place.
B)Eliminate collection of Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reports for minor infractions.
C)Maintain current penalties for selling, growing, and trafficking marijuana, as well as the prohibition against driving under the influence of marijuana.
D)The law requires additional penalties for minors not in current law such as Parental notification, compulsary drug awareness program, and 10 hours community service. plus a larger US$1,000 fine and possible delinquency proceedings for those under 17 if they do not complete the requirements.
(Information courtesy of Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_Se...
I for one am in favor of the potetial new policy. While many will argue that this will encourage teens to use marijuana, I find this claim to be false. Teenagers, Good or Bad, are likely going to experiement with alcohol and weed at some point, whether it be during high school or college.(Let me also say that I am not trying to justify or make using drugs and alcohol underage seem like "the normal thing to do") Inevitably, some of these teens that experiment are going to be caught by law enforcement.
Today, a seventeen year old caught with a small amount of marijuana will be arrested, will likely be put on probation, and will have a criminal record on their CORI form for 15 years. This means that until that 17 year old turns 32, they will have that possesion charge on their permanent record, preventing them from getting jobs, getting homes or apartments, and recieving student loans for college. I strongly believe that this is an unjust punishment for possesion of marijuana. This is due to multiple reasons.
A)Teenagers are bound to make bad decisions. Im pretty sure the majority of you reading this at some point in high school or college either experimented with marijuana or experimented with alcohol. Again, I am not justifying the use of weed or the underage use of alcohol, but I think you can catch my drift. Teenagers will inevitably going to make poor decisions, lets not punish them for the next 15 years.
B)The mind altering effects of marijuana are actually less then that of alcohol. Once again, I am not justifying the underage use of either of these, but I think it makes a good point. Alcohol affects your decision making ability and your hand-eye coordination. It also causes light-headedness,slow reaction time, nausea, and vomitting when used in excess. Marijuana makes the user relaxed and slows down reaction time.(It is also harmful to lungs, but considering tobacco is legal this isnt a relevant issue to the argument)
Thats my argument, Im interested to hear yours.