Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts


 
Massachusetts State Legislation

Marijuana

Bill Number: H.1061

Sponsors:

Petition by Ms. L'Italien of Andover (by request), petition of Steven S. Epstein.

Official Summary:

Relative to the penalty for the possession of marijuana and the disposition of fines collected from said penalty.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

This legislation would allow persons over 18 to receive a fine of $100 to $500 for first possession of marijuana charge, and a fine of $200 to $1000 for second possession of marijuana charge. This by request legislation will not go anywhere because the sponsor is not in favor of the bill.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 H Referred to the committee on Criminal Justice
  • 01/01/03 S Senate concurred
  • Public Hearing date Aug 6 at 10:00am in Room 222
  • Public Hearing date Apr 9 at 10:00am in Room 222
  • Nothing New Listed 3/26/04

Complete Bill Language & Info: www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/house/ht01061.htm

Bill Number: H.2392

Sponsors:

Petition of Patricia D. Jehlen and other members of the House.

Official Summary:

Relative to the penalties for the possession of marijuana.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

DPFMA helped write and find a sponsor for this legislation. H.2392 would allow persons over 18 to receive a civil fine of $100 and no probation for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. For possession of an ounce or more of marijuana, persons over 18 could receive up to six months in jail or $500 fine or both.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 H Referred to the committee on Criminal Justice
  • 01/01/03 S Senate concurred
  • Public Hearing date Aug 6, 2003 at 10:00am in Room 222
  • Public hearing date Apr 9, 2003 at 10:00am in Room 222
  • Nothing New Listed 3/26/04

Complete Bill Language & Info: www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/house/ht02392.htm

Bill Number: S.207

Sponsors:

Petition of Charles E. Shannon, Cynthia S. Creem, Joan M. Menard, Steven A. Tolman and Stanley C. Rosenberg.

Official Summary:

Relative to impose a civil fine for the possession of marihuana.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

Companion Bill to H.2392. DPFMA helped write and find a sponsor for this legislation. S.207 would allow persons over 18 to receive a civil fine of $100 and no probation for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. For possession of an ounce or more of marijuana, persons over 18 could receive up to six months in jail or $500 fine or both.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 S Referred to the committee on Criminal Justice
  • 01/01/03 H House concurred
  • Public Hearing date Aug 6, 2003 am at 10:00 in Room 222
  • Public Hearing date Apr 9, 2003 am at 10:00 in Room 222
  • Nothing New Listed 3/26/04

Complete Bill Language & Info: a href="www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/st00207.htm" target="_new">www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/st00207.htm

Bill Number: S.1119

Sponsors:

By Mr. Tarr (by request), a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No.1119) of Steven S. Epstein.

Official Summary:

Relative to the penalty for the possession of marijuana and the disposition of fines collected from said penalty.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

Companion Bill to H.1061. This legislation would allow persons over 18 to receive a fine of $100 to $500 for first possession of marijuana charge, and a fine of $200 to $1000 for second possession of marijuana charge. This by request legislation will not go anywhere because the sponsor is not in favor of the bill.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 S Referred to the committee on The Judiciary
  • 01/01/03 H House concurred
  • Public Hearing date Oct 23, 2003 at 11:00am in Gardner Aud.
  • 03/24/04 S Accompanied a study order, see S2288 -SJs 1674-1675
  • Complete Bill Language & Info: www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/st01119.htm

 
Fact
In 2002, the Bush administration spent more than $18.822 billion on the "War on Drugs."

Fact
The United States has locked up nearly a half a million people for non-violent drug offenses. We now have the largest prison population in the world.

Fact
In 2000, Massachusetts had the highest reported rate of illegal drug use in the nation. In 2001, there were over 14,000 adult drug arrests in Massachusetts, of which nearly 75% were for possession.

Fact
In 1999, minorities, who use & sell drugs at similar or lower rates than whites and who represent less than 20% of the state population, made up 54% of all state drug convictions, 80% of all mandatory drug convictions, and in Suffolk County, 89% of all school-zone convictions (imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of two years).

Fact
Research shows that decriminalizing marijuana in Massachusetts would save the state at least $24.3 million in law enforcement resources and would not lead to an increase in marijuana use.

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