Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts


 
Massachusetts State Legislation

Sentencing Guidelines

Bill Number: H.3302

Sponsors:

Petition of David Paul Linsky, Michael E. Festa, Douglas W. Petersen, Ellen Story, Peter V. Kocot and J. James Marzilli, Jr.

Official Summary:

Relative to legislation to establish sentencing guidelines.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

The text of this bill does not appear on the web. It is legislation that would enact recommendations developed by the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission without compromise. It is also supported by the ACLU.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 H Referred to the committee on Criminal Justice
  • 01/01/03 S Senate concurred
  • Public Hearing date May 21, 2003 at 10:00am in Gardner Auditorium
  • Nothing New Listed 3/26/04

Complete Bill Language & Info: Not Available

Bill Number: S.219

Sponsors:

Petition of Marian Walsh, Robert K. Coughlin, Jo Ann Sprague, Charles E. Shannon and other members of the General Court.

Official Summary:

Relative to legislation to establish sentencing guidelines.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

This is companion legislation to H.3302. The text of this bill does not appear on the web. It is legislation that would enact recommendations developed by the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission without compromise. It is also supported by the ACLU.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 S Referred to the committee on Criminal Justice
  • 01/01/03 H concurred
  • Public Hearing date May 21, 2003 at 10:00am in Gardner Auditorium
  • Nothing New Listed 3/26/04

Complete Bill Language & Info: Not Available

 
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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