Amherst voters approved a nonbinding referendum on March 28th that "deprioritizes" marijuana enforcement and also urges state and federal lawmakers to repeal anti-marijuana laws.
The vote, which passed with 1,659 in favor and 981 against, is the second time Amherst voters have passed a similar measure. In 1976, a town meeting approved an article calling for the legalization of marijuana.
The question voters approved reads: "Shall the following proposal be passed? In Affirmation and expansion of the Amherst Town Meeting vote of May 12, 1976 (Article 52, Part 2), we urge the members of the Selectboard and the Town Manager to persuade our state representative, state senator, U.S. representative and U.S. senators to repeal the prohibition of marijuana; and, in the interim, before repeal has been effected, we urge the Amherst Police Department to deprioritize the enforcement of laws covering the possession of marijuana against persons over the age of eighteen."
"I don't know anyone who believes that arresting people for simple possession of marijuana is less harmful for them than marijuana itself, said Richard Evans, Esq., NORML Board member. "Most people recognize that the worst thing about marijuana is that it can get you arrested."
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director, at (202) 483-8751.