Monday, May 18, 2009

A new venture.. the "Wicked Green" TV show is born

On a brighter note that won't cost any of you a dime, I started shooting a new show on cable. The show is about living green and doing my part to educate the viewing public on gardening, recycling, renewable energy and just being "Wicked Green".

We shoot this from the Pegasus Studio in Natick and will air a new show each week. The show will air in Framingham, on Verizon, ComCast and RCN three times a week and in other Towns. The schedule will be on the web address below. Anyone from other area's of the State who want our show on their public access station please e mail me at and I will get the ball rolling.

The Mass. Medical Marijuana Bill ... again

Some of you old timers who have seen or heard me over the past 20 years fight tooth and nail for the medicinal uses of cannabis here in Mass. In 1992 then Bill Weld signed the first medical marijuana bill, named for the Senator Bertonzzi from Milford. In 1997 the Joe Hutchins medical defense bill was signed by Bill Weld. I along with some very dedicated fellow reformers made these things happen with signature gathering and public debates, including two drug policy events at Harvard back in the early 90's.

Since then, 14 States have enacted some form of medical marijuana and every election cycle since, the legislature has ignored medical marijuana and the sick are still being prosecuted, doctors are being put into difficult positions referring patients to a known relief agent and would be patients are afraid to even ask. Public Policy Questions all over the State asking if medical marijuana should be allowed, have been approved, overwhelmingly and still ignored by the House and Senate.

Tomorrow, Tuesday May 19, the Joint Committee on Public Health will again take up the House Bill 2160, (S 1739) An Act to regulate the medical use of marijuana by patients approved by physicians and certified by the department of public health.

While most of us can't take time off to go to the hearings, written statements should be sent to both:

Senator Susan C. Fargo
Joint Committee on Public Health
Room 504
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Representative Jeffrey Sánchez
Joint Committee on Public Health
Room 130
State House
Boston, MA 02133

The Bill is below.

Beacon Hill Roll light at the end of the tunnel

None of you or me should be surprised at what happened last week on the Hill. As you've read here and elsewhere, the changes to the ethics laws have been watered down in many critical areas like accepting gifts, etc. All of this moves to the compromise committee at which time some of Deval's, the House and Senates proposals will be either dropped or combined. One thing that was a surprise to me was that the Senate rejected and amendment to increase the time a former state employee, including legislators could become lobbyists. It is now one year, the proposal was to make it two years and even three years. The role call vote was 6 to 33 in favor of rejecting the amendment.

Bad for us.. good for them

The revenue committee heard testimony of a proposal (H2773) to impose a $5.00 dollar a pack tax on rolling papers if you can believe that. In 2002 the House rejected a $10.00 per pack tax.

Bad for us... good for them

And the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture held a hearing on a few interesting bills. Senate Bill S 384 would establish a 5.00 per motor vehicle tire deposit and a return system. And H 770, a bill to prohibit anyone from releasing 10 or more helium balloons in a 24 hour period and imposing a fine of 250.00. The interesting rub on this bill is that many candidates who run for office at outdoor events, have a tank of Helium and distribute balloons with their names on it. If you have been at the Common Concerts over the years, you will see balloons floating of in the air. I personally think it's good idea to stop the balloons from being dropped in waterways and hurting wildlife. There are though, environmentally safe balloons made of biodegradable materials, which I have used in the past. The idea may be sound, but who is going to monitor this? If you find ten balloons with someones name on it.. will you bring them to the local police? Will cops be monitoring events across the State for the amount of balloons released? Will there be a niche business here, where by gun totting residents are paid to shot down balloons? Might be cheaper than paying fines.