Pubdate: Sun, 09 Nov 2008
Source: Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH)
Copyright: 2008 Telegraph Publishing Company
Author: Chris Heffernan


This year's election has no doubt brought about great change in this
country. And while many will spend the next few days, weeks and months
reflecting on and reacting to the newest appointment to the highest
office in the nation, I invite you to take some time to reflect on
another important change that took place.

Our neighbor to the south, Massachusetts, voted to decriminalize small
amounts of marijuana, a decision that was met with 65 percent support
by voters. This decision makes Massachusetts the 13th state, including
Maine, which has realized that marijuana laws are in desperate need of
reform. These laws do not "legalize drugs" as some have claimed, but
instead make the punishment more fitting to the "crime."

Various medical studies have shown that the effects of marijuana are
less harmful than alcohol, yet our state still prosecutes as though it
is the opposite.

Good, taxpaying citizens are being harassed and jailed by police,
whose time would be better spent tackling issues of assault, theft and
other violent crimes.

With our neighbors both to the north and the south understanding that
the decades-old propaganda regarding marijuana use is beyond
ridiculous, it is time that New Hampshire take the initiative to put
some power back into the hands of its citizens and follow the same

We have the opportunity to join the other 13 states in proclaiming
that for too long now innocent people have been treated as criminals
for doing something less harmful to themselves than having a drink
after work.

Chris Heffernan

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