The Massachusetts Secretary of State has announced that an opportunity to legalize marijuana, Question 4, will be on the November ballot. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a nonprofit group of police, judges, prosecutors, and other criminal justice professionals advocating for marijuana legalization, endorses the measure as a means of refocusing the justice system on more serious matters and improving the relationship between communities and police. Question 4 will allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in a secure area of the home.
“Just because fewer people are arrested for marijuana in Massachusetts now doesn’t mean the illegal market disappeared,” said Officer Patrick Heintz (Ret.), a retired corrections officer, substance-abuse counselor, and LEAP speaker. “Underground marijuana dealers are still out there – profiting from a product we relegated to their control. Regulation ensures profits are directed to licensed business owners who pay taxes instead of potentially dangerous criminals. I’m voting Yes on Question 4.”
Question 4 is endorsed by Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing, ACLU of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Moms for Regulation and Taxation, and Union of Minority Neighborhoods, and assorted state legislators, doctors, nurses, academics, and faith leaders.
Marijuana is legal for adult use in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. Twenty-five states and D.C. have legalized some form of medical marijuana access. Measures to legalize marijuana for adult use are also on the November ballot in Maine, Arizona, California, and Nevada.
LEAP is committed to ending decades of failed marijuana policies that have damaged the lives of countless Americans and their families, slowed the justice system at every level, and eroded trust between communities and police.
image via SF Gate