Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jul 2016
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2016 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.


Don't like the message? Well, for the folks behind a campaign to 
legalize the recreational use of marijuana the answer is just to 
shoot the messenger.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has filed a petty 
complaint with state campaign finance regulators, alleging that 
Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael violated state rules by 
appearing at an event sponsored by a group opposed to the pro-pot 
ballot question, in uniform and during work hours.

The group alleges Carmichael broke the rules by engaging in political 
advocacy. And had he shown up at the June 23 event and explicitly 
called on voters to reject the November ballot question, maybe they'd 
have an argument.

But Carmichael says his role at the event was limited to educating 
the public about the danger of edible products containing marijuana, 
based in part on a recent fact-finding visit to Colorado.

And he understands the difference.

"I'm not here to tell anybody how to vote. That's not up to me," 
Carmichael told MassLive.

Carmichael is within his rights to make such a presentation if he is 
acting within the scope of his official responsibilities. And as a 
law enforcement professional his views are no secret. He is co-chair 
of the Mass. Chiefs of Police Association's substance abuse 
committee, and sits on several others.

The pro-pot's campaign seems centered around the belief that, well, 
legalization would be really cool for people who like to smoke (or 
vape, or eat) pot. That's fine, but critics have a long list of 
compelling arguments for why legalization is unwise - and seeking to 
muzzle an expert who makes that argument publicly carries the pungent 
odor of desperation.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom