Newsbrief: Massachusetts Reform Advocates Release Decrim Study as Elections Near 10/25/02

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In a recent article, DRCNet incorrectly reported that local marijuana initiatives on the ballot in various Massachusetts locales were the sole handiwork of MassCann, the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Alliance/NORML, the group best known for sponsoring the annual Freedom Rally on Boston Commons. The Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts has also been deeply involved in the effort, and this week the forum stepped up its public presence by releasing a study that finds that decriminalization of marijuana possession would save the Commonwealth an estimated $24.3 million per year in law enforcement cost -- without seeing a significant increase in marijuana use.

The report, "The Effect of Marijuana Decriminalization on the Budgets of Massachusetts Governments, with a Discussion of Decriminalization's Effect on Marijuana Use," was authored by Boston University professor of economics Jeffrey Miron. "Decision makers and the public want to know if decriminalizing possession will increase use," said Miron in a press statement issued Wednesday. "This report indicates there is no reason to expect marijuana use to significantly increase if we decriminalize possession in Massachusetts. What we can expect is to save millions of dollars for the Commonwealth."

On election day, now less than two weeks away, more than 350,000 voters in 19 legislative districts will have the chance to vote on advisory questions directing their elected representatives to vote in favor of marijuana decriminalization. The electoral effort builds on a successful campaign two years ago, where two-thirds of Middlesex County voters supported legislation that would make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil violation, subject to a maximum fine and $100 and not subject to any criminal penalties.

Look for a profile of DPFMA in the coming weeks.

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Issue #260, 10/25/02 Antiprohibitionists Meet at European Parliament in Brussels | Vigilante Drug Bust in Arizona Opens Window into World of Hurt on Mexican Border | Election 2002:00:00 Governor's Races of Interest | Smoke Dope to Fight Chemical Warfare Attacks? Israeli Activists Say Check It Out | This Week's Cop Corruption Story: Two Texas Villarreals | Newsbrief: Federal Court Upholds Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients | Newsbrief: Bill to Ban Salvia Divinorum Introduced | Newsbrief: In Ecuador, Plan Colombia Foe Appears Headed for Presidency | Newsbrief: Feds to Prosecute Ayahuasca Case | Newsbrief: Baltimore Killings Bring More of the Same Old Policies | Newsbrief: Richmond, Virginia Drug Sweep Underway | Newsbrief: Massachusetts Reform Advocates Release Decrim Study as Elections Near | Newsbrief: Oklahoma Uses Civil Suits in War on Meth | Newsbrief: U Missouri SSDP, NORML in Marijuana Petition Drive | Newsbrief: Ontario Court Authorizes Crackdown on Marijuana Growers | Quote of the Week: William Raspberry | Web Scan: DRCNet in the Media, Dan Forbes on Alternet, VoteHemp, Change the Climate, Journey for Justice, Sydney Morning Herald | Job Opportunity: PreventionWorks, Washington, DC | Errata: Polling on San Francisco Proposition S | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar

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