Pubdate: Fri, 9 May 2008
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2008 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Note: Rarely prints LTEs from outside circulation area
Author: Whitney Taylor


I find it unfortunate that the newspaper chose to publish a story
about the initiative being proposed by the Committee for Sensible
Marijuana Policy, but never reached out to the proponents and was
incorrect on our efforts (Marijuana foes see through smoke
screen, Telegram & Gazette, April 11).

CSMP does not support legalization. The purpose of our organization is
to create a sensible approach to marijuana policy that will help
increase public safety and social responsibility. CSMP's
initiative creates a civil penalty system for personal possession of
an ounce or less of marijuana. This approach would end the creation of
more than 7,500 new CORIs every year, and end the barriers to
education, employment and housing created by those CORIs.

Additionally, in 2008, Harvard economist and professor Jeffrey Miron
released an independent study that found Massachusetts police
departments spend $29.5 million a year to arrest and book offenders
caught simply possessing marijuana. CSMP believes that these funds
should stay in police budgets and be used to combat serious and
violent crimes.

Eleven other states have similar laws that have proved successful.
CSMP's efforts are not part of some national conspiracy, but
rather an attempt to create a pragmatic solution to the proven failure
of current marijuana policies.

Whitney A. Taylor

Campaign Manager

Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy