Look Before You Pass!

In case you didn’t know- selling pot is still illegal in the state of Massachusetts.

The states highest court met Monday, February 13, to discuss confusion with the bill that decriminalized marijuana in MA. The bill states that any person caught with less than an ounce of marijuana is only subject to pay a fine of $100.00, instead of jail time.

Unfortunately for Shawn Keefner, this was not the case. The Great Barrington Police were called after a woman spotted her daughter and Keefner smoking weed outside of her home in 2011. The police proceeded to search Keefner’s car where they found three individually wrapped bags holding two grams of marijuana each, $100.00 cash and a text message on his cellphone from someone wishing to purchase $20.00 worth of marijuana.

Keefner was arrested and appealed because the 2008 bill did not address what were to happen if someone were in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, but had the intent to sell. Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, who was present in Monday’s meeting had this this to say:

” By creating specific exemptions in the simple possession statute, but not in the possession with intent to distribute statute, we conclude that the voters intended only to amend the simple possession statute and intended to exclude from the act’s reach the separate and distinct crime of possession … with intent to distribute”

Basically, Roderick Ireland is saying that those who voted in 2008 didn’t really know what they were voting for. Nevertheless, Keefner’s lawyer David Skeels was quick with to retort. Skeels pointed out that  “the 2008 law didn’t apply to those who were attempting to sell or distribute less than an ounce of marijuana…the law intended to shield from criminal charges, people who were merely sharing a marijuana cigarette.”

The high court justices decided to leave the debate for the day, leaving this footnote in the ruiling.

“the Commonwealth may criminally charge each person who passed the marijuana cigarette to another with distribution of marijuana or possession with intent to distribute, even though such individuals could not be charged criminally with possession of marijuana, because the amount of marijuana each possessed was one ounce or less.’’

Isn’t it completely ridiculous that people who are merely passing a joint back in forth are subject to harsher consequences than someone who is dealing it?! This is just another development in the marijuana market that is incredibly unreasonable and totally ignorant.  What do you think?

Legalize it already!

On the fence about voting this November? Perhaps the newest development in marijuana legalization in the state of Massachusetts can persuade you to get active and make that change that has been eagerly awaited.

Peter Lewis,  an Ohio resident and chairman of Progressive Insurance company has generously funded  $525,000 toward legalization of medical marijuana in the state of Massachusetts. Lewis donated to the Committee for Compassionate Medicine who is very much in favor of using marijuana for medical purposes. Lewis is responsible for virtually all of the $526,167 raised by the Committee for Compassionate Medicine, who are working to file “a ballot initiative that, if qualified and passed by voters, would create a voter approved medical marijuana program.”

Bills H.625 and SB 1161 are similar to the one’s that were stalled by the legislature during the 2011 session.

The ballot question would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis to get permission from their doctors to use marijuana.

The plan also calls for the state to register up to 35 nonprofit medical treatment centers around the state to distribute the marijuana. – Associated Press, Boston Herald

If the legislature decides to stall the ballot again, the people will be able to take matters into their own hands by weighing in directly. With the ballot initiative fostered by the Committee for Compassionate Medicine’s ballot is qualified and passed, voters will be able to create “a voter approved medical marijuana program” that will protect anyone who uses the now decriminalized drug for healing purposes.

Interested in learning more about Peter Lewis and his plans for legalization? Check it out here!

It seems as though it’s only a matter of time before marijuana makes it’s triumphant debut into the legal world, but it wont happen without our help! Judging by the way this debate has unraveled in the past, our generation simply wont stop fighting until the government realizes a little pot can do a person an immense amount of good.