Testimony Submitted By MassCann/NORML In Massachusetts To Cannabis Control Commission

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MassCannWe are the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, Inc., state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, known as MASS CANN/NORML.

We are the largest, oldest and most successful cannabis law reform organization in the northeastern United States. We have run the annual Boston Freedom Rally on Boston Common every year for 28 years, which has raised over $500,000 for our cause. We have run over 50 public policy questions in local districts throughout the Commonwealth – all of which were approved by voters by healthy majorities. The results of those public policy questions and our professional polling persuaded the Marijuana Policy Project to finance the decriminalization of marijuana by ballot initiative in 2008.

We alone have been representing cannabis users for years. Our activists made decriminalization, medical marijuana and, now, regulated cannabis the new reality. We represent the voters who made your Commission possible.

Unlike others seeking to advise you, we alone purely represent the interests of cannabis users. We are the marijuana user group in Massachusetts. We are motivated by our collective desire to be free from overly intrusive, overly repressive government.

We are not motivated by money, as so many others who hope to advise you are. We are an all- volunteer organization. None of us are paid for what we do.

We are not motivated by career interests, as so many others who hope to advise you are. MASS CANN/NORML employs no one.

We are not motivated by a desire for political power, as so many others who hope to advise you are. We are a public education organization and are barred by law from doing political work.

What MASS CANN/NORML is asking you to do:

We are asking for no regulations about marijuana that would be ridiculous if applied to alcohol. As a recreational substance, marijuana is less debilitating and less addictive than alcohol. As a medicine, it is one of the safest therapeutic substances known, far safer than aspirin. Regulations concerning storage, distribution, and handling that require marijuana to be treated like enriched plutonium—regulations like those put out during the disastrous rollout of medical marijuana—have no basis in reality. They’re just the kind of governmental overreach the voters rejected in passing Question 4. You recall that Question 4 was called an act to “tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.”

We want you to avoid regulations based on fear-mongering:
– Legalization has NOT led to increased marijuana use by youths.
– Legalization has NOT led to more highway accidents.
– Opening marijuana outlets has NOT increased crime in the neighborhoods that have them.
There are many, many other examples of false claims that we can disprove.

Value freedom over compromise. No compromising with our freedom. Freedom is precious. The first colonists came to Massachusetts to escape repressive government. Ever since, many have fought in many ways for freedom and some have died for it. You have no more sacred duty than to maintain whatever freedom is possible.

We want you to evaluate the other stakeholders in this discussion in light of their particular interests.

It is in the interest of capitalists, for instance, to corner the market. Therefore, they would favor regulations making it hard for us users to grow our own plants for free. The influence of those well-heeled interests is hard to resist. Please resist.

Prosecutors and police want to maintain their ability to target us marijuana users and to define us as criminals. They have used marijuana laws to enforce institutionalized racism. They still will seek to criminalize us to the greatest degree they can. Voters rejected their approach when they passed Question 4. The job of prosecutors and police is to enforce the laws that are given them. They should not be shaping policy.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has proved they are interested only in benefitting their bureaucracy, expanding their budget, employing a larger workforce, and consolidating their power—NOT in helping medical marijuana patients. In fact, they are a principal reason that so many patients have gone for years without legal access to their medicine. They should not be listened to as some kind of voice of experience. They should just be studied as a history of horrible examples.

Treatment professionals are interested in maintaining their gravy train. They want all cannabis use to be defined as drug abuse, and they want all users to be forced into expensive court-ordered rehab programs. They have no larger social interest at heart, and they do not deserve a seat at our table.

All of these stakeholders have an interest in treating legal marijuana as a disaster to be delayed and restricted as much as possible. But the voters didn’t vote for a disaster, they voted for an opportunity: new jobs, new revenue, safer communities, better community-police relations. We want you to respect the will of the voters, and that means not working against legalization as some kind of threat, but moving ahead with legalization as a fine new opportunity. Legal marijuana is a great thing for Massachusetts! Make it happen!

0 thoughts

  1. One of the first revelations about marijuana that occurred to many of us after trying it was how perfectly opposite from reality the official propaganda was. It’s was stunningly obvious that what governments and prohibitionists proclaimed about all things cannabis was ludicrously divorced from facts and common sense.

    Another early revelation was how denial of the much more problematic role that alcohol and tobacco play in our society was wrapped up in marijuana prohibition. Pot was made the whipping boy for the harms caused by those legal poisons.

    1. In the 1970s “they” assured us that pot smoking would cause men to grow breasts! I must’ve not smoked enough pot–I’ve never even lactated.

      1. @ Evening Bud,
        Yeah, I got that mind-fuck treatment, too, as a young teen… I hadn’t even been laid yet, hadn’t even tried weed yet, and “teachers” were showing me pictures of a man’s hairy chest, with hooters!
        I’m still pissed off about being manipulated like that. Such a sick and pathetic attempt to trick kids, instead of teach them.
        It didn’t work: I am a dedicated stoner now. Nelson County, here’s to your tits!

  2. Atlantic Towers in Carolina Beach N.C. is using Hatichi security systems against patrons who use marijuana on its property. Good idea to aviod this place all together.

  3. Great testimony,my ancestors are the original of Massachusetts,Anny Hutchinson has fought the same battles and witch hunts.
    I see a new trend coming about in the last month with the involvement of churches and religion sector,this is how cannabis got put on list with the DEA in the first place this is where it all started from,It’s no surprise that The AG sessions is a Sunday school teacher,they will try to bring demonization of it even more so now with the bills of freedom of religion and use that for repressive aggression once again. Unfortunately here you will see church and government working with each other to support there capital gains. As in the statement of testimony of norml’s intent is not of any capital gain. The sole purpose from the beginning of ending prohibition of cannabis has been about one thing FREEDOM, only since the Revelation of it as a monnitery value in economics did such propaganda come about within politics and church and there is the true source of the damage it causes to the Commonwealth of the people it is not the influences of cannabis it’s self but the influence of the money that brings such harm to the people because of it’s manipulation by the government’s false fallacy.
    If it was not on the schedule there would be no value to it, no capital gains from it no politics involved, no deaths by shootings there would not be homeless people because they lost a job from it’s use, there would not be over crowded jails, there would not be thousands of illegal grows, there would not be it’s presentation in the media,it would not be a interest of the majority of the American youth. Truth is the DEA has done more harm to the Commonwealth of the people by placing it on the schedule then cannabis has it’s self.None of what the Commonwealth of the people is experiencing is because of Cannabis in it’s ingested form, only by the placement of it on the schedule by the DEA does it cause irreparable harm to the Commonwealth of the people.

  4. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For pointing out so sensibly why these dead-enders have forfeited any say or any place at the table as re-legalization moves forward. Pour it on MASS/CANN!

  5. Thank you for your testimony. I agree with so much of it. Although I am what you call a “treatment professional,” – I’m a Registered Nurse who takes care of women in recovery. I fully understand the therapeutic value of this plant. I would love to see cannabis-based drug weaning programs come to light in the substance abuse space. I am commencing work on on such a program at this time. Abstinence programs are a colossal failure, and the majority of people who are struggling with addition are over-medicated and sedated on pharmaceutical meds. I believe (and endeavor to prove) cannabis is a game changer and I know I am not the only treatment professional who feels this way. Just wanted to share this with you. Thank you for all that you do for this remarkable plant, and the people who depend on it’s wide-range of health benefits and symptom relief. Your efforts are immense and so appreciated.


    Marissa Fratoni, RN,LMT,RYT, INHC

  6. I am pleased to read that MASS CANN/NORML rejects the idea that the so-called “treatment” industry has any business “treating” marijuana consumers, and has called them out as financial parasites having no social usefulness or justification in the marijuana industry.

    I am a recovering alcoholic, one who understands that addiction and recovery are serious, life-and-death matters. At the same time, I am also a self-identified stoner politically, and a legal medical marijuana patient personally.

    We live in a culture that tends to see that all that as contradictory; it wasn’t easy for me to work it all out either, and to learn to distinguish fact from dogma, and reason from rationalization.

    Drug abuse is real. Tobacco kills more people than all other drugs combined.

    Marijuana kills no one. In fact, it’s good for you! It doesn’t ruin lives; but marijuana prohibition ruins lives. Especially Black Lives!

    The drug treatment industry are financial parasites who undermine the chances that a real addict seeking real help will ever receive it.

    Addicts need Truth, not more lies.

    Drug treatment for marijuana use is meaningless, at best.

    1. Mark, as I read your post and your comment about the “drug treatment” program I thought of those quacks in the middle ages who proscribed lizard tails and frog gizzards and the like for ailments–rather than helping patients they actually hurt ’em more.

      It’s tragic that in this day and age, we have modern quacks/parasites who are essentially doing the same thing.

      It’s like all these Doctors that we have in Congress and the Senate–most of them are heartless bastards. They obviously got into the medical field for money and money alone.

      Hippocratic Oath, hell, more like Hypocritic Oath.

  7. The case of Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing has not received the attention of the full Supreme Court, as it was decided in an SJC court in Mass., but its ramifications on marijuana policy as it pertains to the Supremacy Clause and patient’s rights under drug test employment are profound.


    I was digging up this case to explain why President Obama may have hesitated on descheduling marijuana at the end of his term, which would have been overturned by the anti-Obama-in-Chief or even by the Supreme Court. (But then Obama was President of Harvard Law so what does he know?)
    Here is the recent decision from the court;

    “To declare an accommodation for medical marijuana to be per se unreasonable out of respect for the Federal law would not be respectful of the recognition of Massachusetts voters, shared by the legislatures or voters in the vast majority of States, that marijuana has an accepted medical use for some patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions.”

    In other words, the court decided that a majority of states with mmj law, and more specifically legislatively enacted law, trumps Trump and the Supremacy clause. The Cole memos and the Rohrabacher Blumenauer amendment kinda seal the deal.

    But Massachussets legalized through voter initiative?

    One explanation is that the Mass legislature desperately wanted to amend or at least delay the initiative. Eventually an agreement was made legislatively… in other words, the state legislature was so desperate to curb legalization in Mass the prohibitionists didnt realize they were giving legalization exactly what we were missing… the judges recognized the legislative action as the missing ingredient to “supreme” the supremacy clause.
    And since this landmark decision didnt happen while Obama was in office, we oughtta thank him for not descheduling marijuana.

    1. Julian,

      Very interesting point about Obama not rescheduling. And Trump would’ve tried to overturn it out of spite, as he has with everything else.

    2. That is some interesting reading, I find it amazing that prohibition of Cannabis is only due to a select few individuals, while the majority of people either don’t care or have no stigma or dogma view of it, that decision by the court does not share the view that the select few does on the prohibition of Cannabis, it does how ever point to how the federal law which is to support the Commonwealth of the people is actually causing harm and damage by the prohibition not only by prohibition but also how this agrumentive issue has brought so much anxiety and stress to the Commonwealth of the people via the social media that it’s energy is having a negative effect on emotions of today’s teens as they are forced by use of social media to digest the federal law of prohibition and I point this out as this is the number one topic in America so how much more damage to social society and the people of America must happen before they end this prohibition. No about of law, stigma or dogma will erase cannabis ever it was here before law it is here now and it will be at the end of prohibition. I guess in the mean time the Commonwealth of the people get to suffer the ill effects of the select few .

      1. There was a really fascinating and informative interview on NPR’s “Think” with Dr. Robert H. Lustig today I think you would enjoy, Gilbert. While I’m hesitant to promote anyone’s book on this website for legal reasons, after listening to this man mention marijuana helping PTSD and simply reducing processed foods and sugars from our diet down to the omega 3s in algae only wild fish eat I’m at least going to name his book without the link;
        It’s called “Hacking the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Take Over of Our Bodies and Brains.
        I was waiting on hold to get my question answered about whole plant marijuana treating depression and opiate addiction by restoring homeostasis to the endocannabinoid system when he at least mentioned marijuana treatment for depression and PTSD. I encourage everyone to call into talk shows and get marijuana reform going in the conversation. Don’t forget the JAMA reports on reduction of opiate addiction in states with legal whole plant cannabis.

  8. What’s up with these New England states? Seems they’re doing everything they can to derail or hinder or delay the implementation of the legalization law. And it bothers me greatly that some of these asswipes are Democrats. I expect that crap from GOPers.

    1. That’s true Bud; one of the worst prohibitionist Democrats in New England is Patrick Kennedy, former Rep for Rhode Island. He helped put up $2 million to stop mj initiatives in 2016. He’s involved with Project SAM, but after a little research I quickly debunked his “dead family member” scapegoat of mj and found out he’s swollen with Big Pharma dollars. Big Pharma has some nasty ways of funneling money to politicians, sometimes even through the Catholic archdiocese which tried to stop legalization in Massachusetts with a few million dollars. (Jesus would have flipped some tables over that one).

      Another bad Democratic apple is Debbie Wash-money Shultz, Rep for Miami-Dade in Florida. She’s got her vote along with the votes of a bunch of rich old folks tied up in off shore tax havens with a Danish pharmaceutical company called Novo Nordisk. This company was sued for selling pills for diabetes that actually killed people. Of course, marijuana is excellent treatment for diabetes by restoring homeostasis, so she has no integrity to support legalization and lose Novo’$ $upport. She would have lost an election to Tim Canova. Now that Miami decriminalized around her let’s support Tim again next year and get rid of her @$$. After what she did to Bernie she’s bad news for the Dems anyway.

      The runner up

      1. I have no use for “Wash-money.” She’s the poster child for DINOs. In fact, she’s supported GOPers over Dems in local races. I suspect she’ll eventually migrate.

        That Patrick Kennedy seems like the type of Dem we need to weed out–a corporate asshole.

    2. their pockets are stuffed from special interest people, corp. they are stuck in the middle. all chicken chiter,s.

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