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March 2009
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The Massachusetts Law Enforcement disconnect continues

The Sheriff of Essex County, Massachusetts writes of his discussions with young people about marijuana and decriminalization.
He says

We should never have reduced the criminal penalties associated with the possession of marijuana.

And so what are the reasons for this?

But the reality is if you use marijuana, and are arrested for the infraction, the charge stays on your permanent record. And such a charge may hinder your chances for employment, particularly if you ever had aspirations of working in law enforcement at the local, state or federal level.
A marijuana charge also negatively affects the way you are perceived when you apply for other jobs. You may, for example, lose your ability to apply for a commercial driver’s license if you garner a marijuana charge. You may also lose the chance to work for a particular company if that corporation requires regular drug tests and perceives you to be a habitual user of marijuana.
The list of problems associated with marijuana use is endless.

Um. Huh? Thats a list of problems associated with prohibition. The Sheriff appears to be saying that they should never have decriminalized marijuana because there are still major penalties that users could face.
What other reasons does the Sheriff offer?

I also reminded the students that when you become a regular marijuana user in high school, you are looked down upon by those who do not partake in the practice.

Ah, yes. Marijuana should be illegal because people will think less of you if you smoke it… Yeah, that makes sense.
It continues to amaze me that some law enforcement in Massachusetts is completely incapable of understanding…. the law.

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