For a group that
struts around condemning pot smokers, the Massachusetts District Attorneys
Association (MDAA) is one wacky bunch of lazy bureaucrats.
The State House
News Service (SHNS) today delivered an expected whopper: Governor Deval Patrick,
Attorney General Martha Coakley, and their incompetent minions can’t, or, more
accurately, are unwilling to, accommodate policy adjustments required by the
passage of Question 2.
Here we have a
typical scenario in which government officials condescend to reporters (and,
ultimately, to the public) as if we have no clue about the difficulty of their
jobs. They’re basically claiming that people don’t understand the logistics
required to get a damn thing done around here.
“There are very,
very significant implementation problems,” MDAA Executive Director Geline
Williams told the SHNS about marijuana decriminalization. Added Berkshire
County District Attorney David Capeless: “There are some very serious issues
which aren’t necessarily going to get resolved.”
would be understandable if their attitude was that, despite obstacles,
officials are working hard to move from criminal to civil penalties. After all,
they are required to set up counseling for youth offenders, and to train police
officers not to cuff and stuff pot smokers caught with less than one ounce.
But, instead, district
attorneys are essentially saying that since they don’t approve of Question 2, they’ll
drag their feet as long as possible. Their message: We should leave flawed
legislation in tact for their convenience.
“It seems to me
that the district attorneys are still campaigning,” says Committee for Sensible
Marijuana Policy (CSMP) Organizer Whitney Taylor. “They continue to use ‘The sky is
going to fall’ rhetoric, which is clearly untrue. We wrote this [law] to fit
into the current system. It can be implemented as is.”
We know that –
in the lead up to this past election – district attorneys refused to consult
authorities in the dozen states that have already adopted similar laws. But now
it’s time to sponge the spilled milk and do some research. I’ll make it easy
for them – here’s a web site with resources.
officials are not suggesting that the Massachusetts courts and legal system are
less sophisticated than those in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine,
Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and
time for some legislators to find enough courage to champion this measure. In
addition to the fact that it’s no longer a political liability (65 percent of voters showed
that they tolerate marijuana), this would be a sweet chance for a
representative to prove that he or she can organize within this tragically flawed
This law is
supposed to hit the books 30 days from tomorrow, when the Governor’s Council
finally certifies the November 4 election results. If someone – or, better yet,
all of us – don’t step up soon and express some outrage we’re sure to see the
will of voters be shamelessly disregarded.