Monday, September 27, 2010

Cannabis Public Policy Questions on this years ballot.

This year marks the 10th year that Public Policy Questions will be asked in certain districts. Tax and Regulate and Medical Marijuana will be seen by a large diverse group of voters in this State. And if you think no one cares or even see's whats going on, keep this in mind, The Teamsters have organized medical marijuana growers in Oakland California. (Wall Street Journal) About 40 employee's of a company have joined Teamsters Local 40. You know it's coming when the unions get involved.

Legalization Question I: Shall the state representative/senator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow the state to regulate the taxation, cultivation, and sale of marijuana to adults?

FIRST MIDDLESEX AND NORFOLK SENATE - Question 4 in Newton, Brookline, except Precinct 5 where it will be Question 7 and Question 4 in Wellesley, precincts A and C to E, inclusive.
Incumbent CYNTHIA STONE CREEM faces no challenger in the November 2 election.

Seventh Essex - Question 4 in Salem. Incumbent JOHN D. KEENAN (D).

Eighth Essex - Question 4 in the two precincts in East Lynn, Marblehead and Swampscott.

Third Middlesex - Question 4 in Bolton, Maynard and Stow; Question 5 in Hudson.

Thirteenth Norfolk - Question 4 in Dover, precincts 1 and 2 of Medfield and Needham.

Legalization Question II: Shall the State Representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow the state to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol?

Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket - Question 4 in Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Nantucket, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and West Tisbury and Question 5 in Falmouth's precincts 1, 2, 5 and 6, and Gosnold.
Incumbent TIMOTHY R. MADDEN is running without opposition.

First Franklin - Questionn 4 in Belchetown's precincts A and D, Chesterfield, Conway, Deerfield, Goshen, Huntington, Leverett, Montague, New Salem, Pelham, Shutesbury, Wendell, Williamsburg, and Worthington; Question 5 in Sunderland and Whately.
Incumbent STEPHEN KULIK is running without opposition.

Third Hampshire - Question 4 in Amherst and Question 5 in Granby.
Incumbent ELLEN STORY will face Republican DANIEL M. SANDELL and unenrolled in any party DANIEL E. MELICK on November 2.

Thirteenth Middlesex - Question 5 in Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland.
Incumbent THOMAS P. CONNOLY is runing without opposition.

The above represents approximately seven and one- half (7.5%) percent of the residents of the state!

Medical Question I:
Shall the state representative from this district be intructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow patients with their doctor's written recommendation, or such patient's registered caregiver, to possess and grow marijuana for the patient's medical use.
Second Plymouth - Question 5 in precincts 1, 2 and 3, of Bourne, Carver and Wareham.
Incumbent Susan Williams Gifford (R) vs. DAVID A. SMITH (D)

Third Plymouth - Question 4 in Cohasset and Question 5 in Hingham, Hull, and precinct 3 of Scituate. Incumbent Garrett Bradley (D) v. Carlton Alan Chambers (I) and Tim Finnerty (R).

Fifteenth Suffolk - Question 6 in Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill.
Incumbent Jeffrey Sanchez, chair of the Public Health Committee which is sitting on the medical bill is running unopposed on November 2 .

Medical Question II:

Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that that would allow patients with their doctor's written recommendation, to possess, grow, and purchase marijuana for medical use.

Second Bristol - Question 4 in Wds. 1,2,4,5,6, & Pct. A, Wd. 3 of Attleboro.
Incumbent Democrat BILL BOWLES faces Republican George T. Ross and unenrolled in any party JAMES S. CONNOLLY on November 2.

Fourteenth Bristol - Question 4 in Attleboro' precinct B of ward 3, Mansfield's precincts 2 and 5, North Attleborough and Norton's precinct 2.
Incumbent Republican ELIZABETH A. POIRIER is unopposed.

First Hampden - Question 4 in Holland, Sturbridge, Wales, Ware's precincts B and C, and Warren; Question 5 in Palmer.
Incumbent Republican TODD M. SMOLA is unopposed.

Ninth Norflok - Question 4 in Pcts. 3 & 4 of Medfield, Pct. 1 of Millis Norfolk, Plainville, Pct. 5 of Walpole and Wrentham.
Republican Daniel B. Winslow v. Democrat STANLEY J. NACEWICZ.

Thirteenth Worcester - Question 5 in Paxton and Worcester's Ward 1, precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4, all of ward 9, and precinct 3 of ward 10.
JOHN J. MAHONEY vs. Ronal C. Madnick (I), Bruce R. Card (I), and Paul J. Franco (R) in the General Election on November 2.

Eighteenth Worcester - Question 4 in Bellingham, Blackstone, Millville, and Pcts. 1, 2, & 4 of Uxbridge and Pcts. 1 & 2 of Sutton.
Incumbent Democrat JENNIFER M. CALLAHAN (D) faces Republican RYAN C. FATTMAN on November 2, 2010

Human Trafficking in Fraimgham?

Adrian Walker from the Globe wrote a piece the other day, "Temptation's rough path" sept 25th. Evidently a city councilor sitting at the Back Bay MBTA was approached by a pimp, looking to recruit her. The pimp, named Coffee, promised not to beat her and she could make 5k a week. Shocking as that was to read, the city councilor asked a bunch of questions to this well dressed pimp. The most shocking statement he made to her was that he trolled Framingham, among other cities, for his workers. While this may not shock some in Town, it certainly gets my attention and while a bill to ban human trafficking has been stalled on Beacon Hill, dozens, maybe hundreds of young people are being asked to become slaves to a pimp.

Now that Craigs List has been shut down for prostitution, perhaps the Framingham Police department will set up real stings to catch real criminals dealing in human trafficking.They shouldn't need a ban to stop this kind of crime in Framingham.

Shame on those who have stood in the way of protecting our residents from predators.

Is it time for a part time Legislature?

From the Herald:

The Massachusetts Legislature - one of only nine full-time bodies in the nation - is basically a part-time gig for more than half of the state’s 200 lawmakers, who hold down demanding, time-consuming jobs outside the State House, many as private attorneys and business owners.

The Bay State Legislature also shuts down for months at a time as lawmakers stump for re-election or higher office. Meanwhile, legislators take twice as long as their part-time counterparts in other states to do the people’s business, while sticking taxpayers with double the tab for travel, office redecoration and salaries, a Herald review found.

Vacations also are frequent and plentiful. In addition to all national holidays and the oft-ridiculed Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill holidays, lawmakers have the same vacation schedule as schoolchildren. That means weeklong breaks every February and April and empty halls during the summer after the state budget is complete.

“In effect the Legislature is already doing part-time work - the only difference is they are getting paid for the full 12 months,” said David Tuerk of the Beacon Hill Institute.

Among the lawmakers with busy outside interests:
# Senator/undertaker Richard Ross (R-Wrentham), who raked in $96,074 as a lawmaker and also pocketed more than $100,000 running R.J. Ross Funeral Home.
# Representative/theater owner Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), who earns up to $100,000 operating the independent Dedham Community Theater, on top of his $68,561 state salary;
# Representative/greasy-spoon operator Robert Fennell (D-Lynn), who raked in $68,561 as a lawmaker but also slings hash browns and pancakes as the owner of Capitol Diner in Lynn.
# Senator/defense attorney Steven Panagiotakos (D-Lowell), who earns $95,719 as Senate Ways and Means chairman, also takes in up to $100,000 a year running his own general law practice.
# Click here to view the payroll for the House of Representatives and State Senate.

Watchdogs say that more time spent in session doesn’t always mean better laws, and argue that Beacon Hill pols need tighter deadlines because they procrastinate until the last minute.

A classic example came this year when lawmakers scrambled to finish a bill legalizing casinos and slot parlors by July 31st - holding a rare formal session on a Saturday and working past midnight.

The casino bill never passed.

“The problem with a full-time Legislature is you have too much time. People operate on deadlines,” said Patrick E. Bauer, speaker of the House in Indiana, which holds sessions only four months a year.

Part-time legislators in Indiana cost their taxpayers only $24 million in salaries and operating expenses even though they craft a similar budget and serve about the same number of people. By comparison, Bay State taxpayers shelled out $51 million this year to pay for and maintain their full-time lawmakers.

The next time you hear one of the party loyalist say we need a full time legislature...know that we don't.