Are You Cheating Yourself of 280 Joints?

January 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

According to Lt. Maguire of the Weston Police Department, ‘One ounce of marijuana is the equivalent of 200 to 300 joints’. (Wicked Local)

I’m no expert, but if a joint is 1-2 grams, and there are 28.3 grams in an ounce… then, well, it stands to reason that 28/2 = 300.

The state of Massachusetts urged towns to pass local ordinances banning public use of marijuana . Some towns are considering adding additional fines, whereas others, as urged by the state, want to make public use an arrestable, criminal offense.

The danger with the second possibility is that things could go the way of New York, where the first two counts of small possession are civil citations, but possession of any amount which is ‘burning or open to public view’ is charged as if it were possession of more than an ounce (a misdemeanor).

Advocates of the proposed laws argue that this is just a ‘tweak’ to make sure that smoking marijuana in public is illegal. They seem to have missed the fact that smoking marijuana anywhere is still illegal. Next, I expect them to pass laws banning smoking a joint with your left hand, or with your right, or while standing on one foot, or while wearing the color blue, or… you get the idea.

They also seem to have conveniently forgotten that smoking any substance in a public building is already illegal by state law as well:

“Smoking” or “smoke”, [is] the lighting of a cigar, cigarette, pipe or other tobacco product or possessing a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other tobacco or non-tobacco product designed to be combusted and inhaled.

Call me crazy, but I think that smoking a joint would count as ‘posessing a lighted non-tobacco product designed to be combusted or inhaled’.

Several towns are following the requests of the state and are proposing laws to ban public use – or even ban possession (again).

Framingham has already implemented additional fines for public use, punishing both the owner and the establishment in which he smokes. It appears, however, that the law is enforced civilly, not criminally.

Medway is holding a town meeting on February 24th to determine whether or not to pass a similar law. The catch: Medway would also increase the fines to as much as $300 for possession, in addition to the state fine.  Please urge any of your friends who live in Medway to attend the February 24th town meeting to prevent this law from passing. Several other towns, such as Methuen and Quincy, are following suit. Check to see if your town is holding a meeting on a similar measure.
Congratulations to Worcester, on the other hand, for being the first town to vote on an ordinance, and the first to reject it.

We owe the success of these efforts partly to the Boston Freedom Rally, which mobilized opponents of the additional laws to attend local town meetings.

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