Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Marijuana legalization on the ballot Q4

For those readers who know of my past experience with the whole movement, please disregard the following. Since 2000 I have put on the ballot, 3 public policy questions regarding Decriminalization, medical use and legalization. All three were approved by the voters here in Framingham by overwhelming numbers, above 60% each time. No one would have predicated the results early on, after all, it was less than 15 years ago when we sued the Town of Ashland for violating my constitutional rights by not allowing me to conduct a marijuana rally at Stone Park. Since then millions of arrests have happened, thousands jailed, families torn apart, billions in civil forfeiture, all over violating this nation’s absurd marijuana prohibition.

Fast forward to 2016 and see what hard work, time and education have done for our movement. Three states s already have legalization, 24 states have medical use and we still have a half a million arrests in this country for mostly possession.

Now we come to the ballot question for 2016. Known support seems to be in our favor, by a slim margin. I do believe most voters have already made up their minds and in the privacy of the voting booth, will say yes to legalization.

You will hear some outlandish propaganda, lies and mis-information from so called experts, but at the end of the day, most adults know someone who has or had smoked pot and turned out OK. For the record, I don't want my grandchildren taking any drugs, smoking butts, drinking booze or jumping out of a plane. Nothing and no one can completely stop the mis-use of pot by children, but concerned parents would likely not condemn their kids if they smoked pot once, rather than getting into prescription drugs or heroin or under the sink chemicals.

It has always made sense to treat pot like booze as in when they lifted prohibition of alcohol. Crime went down, the murder rate was cut in half and people like the Kennedy's profited big time. The same holds true with cannabis. Big money players will stand to gain the most, while little guys will struggle to keep up. Taxes will be paid and those serving time (for non-violent marijuana offenses) will hopefully get out of jail.

To no one's surprise, I'm voting yes on Q4.

Have a looksee and you decide,_Question_4_(2016)

The Charter draft report 9.13.16

For those of our readers who pay attention to the Charter Commission, you may have already read the first draft. If not, have a look. It's 16 pages long and quite revealing. One part that concerns me is the appointing power of the Mayor who will appoint all members of every committee in Town. Now that may not sound bad, but our Town is filled with conflicts of interest on a wide variety of committees.  There is nothing I found that addresses any conflict of interest. The one glaring reason voters think our Town is corrupt in the lack of adherence to conflict of interest at Town Meeting. Employees and their relatives of various departments get on Town Meeting for no other reason but to vote for a particular budget item. And the Standing Committee's are filled with Town employee's.
Regardless of where you stand on becoming a city or staying a Town, we must insist on cleaning our house before adding on. After reading the document, feel free to write to the Charter Commission with your questions or thoughts.