Friday, February 20, 2004


Big developments in the Commonwealth this month. The Mass Cann newsletter reports that a marijuana decrim bill has finally been introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. This bill recommends that minor marijuana offenders in Massachusetts will face a maximum penalty of a ticket and a small fine in lieu of criminal arrest and prosecution. If you live in this state please contact your local legislators and ask them to support this bill. You can do this easily by entering your zip code on the take action now box at the link above.

This is the first I've heard about this high school drug sweep in Leominster last week. Yet another group of teenagers were terrorized by local law enforcement and drug sniffing dogs in a lock down that once again netted no drugs. The local ACLU warns the school to drop this tactic as it's a Fourth Amendment violation of the student's rights. Meanwhile the majority of the students have described the sweep as horrible, unnecessary and frightening.

We've said this before, but it bears repeating. These sweeps will not stop drugs from entering the schools. Take it from a student who endured one of these sweeps in North Carolina.

Casey Eggleston, 16, advises the raid may have slowed down the drug trade but has not eliminated it. "People are going to be more careful," he said. "There's not going to be drugs sold at school as much because the people who were stupid enough to bring them to school got caught." Another Williams student, 15-year-old Jon Tate, has some disturbing news.

"There's a lot of people left," he said. "They didn't catch hardly anybody."

In light of this information, do we really want to be wasting our tax dollars on alienating our teenagers and fomenting an atmosphere of fear and mistrust? I think not.


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