Legal Challenge to Massachusetts Marijuana Laws Begins March 20 - Printable Version

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Legal Challenge to Massachusetts Marijuana Laws Begins March 20 - Easy Skanking - 03-18-2008

From a NORML email:

Quote:Alert: Legal Challenge to Massachusetts Marijuana Laws Begins March 20!

Dear NORML Friends:

We are writing today to let you know about a challenge to the marijuana laws currently underway in Massachusetts, and to ask for your support for this important effort.

On Saturday, September 15, 2007, NORML Founder Keith Stroup and High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick were arrested for smoking a joint at the 18th annual Boston Freedom Rally on the Boston Common. This is an event held each year to protest the continued arrest of responsible cannabis consumers in that state, and depending on the weather, it attracts from 15,000 to 50,000 supporters to the Common.

Keith and Rick have candidly acknowledged that they were sharing a joint, but they have pled not guilty and announced their intentions to challenge the constitutionality of the Massachusetts marijuana laws, and to argue for a jury instruction informing the jurors of their common law power to refuse to convict an individual, if they do not believe the offense should be a criminal matter. This long-held power of jurors is generally called jury nullification.

There were nearly 830,000 Americans arrested on marijuana charges last year, and more than 88% of those were for personal use. In Massachusetts there were more than 8,900 marijuana arrests last year, with more than 7,300 for personal use. It is time we stopped treating responsible cannabis consumers like criminals.

As our press advisory indicates, the pretrial hearing in this matter is scheduled for next Thursday, March 20. If you live in the Boston area, please consider coming down to the court to show your support on the morning of March 20th. If you cannot attend, please consider making a generous contribution to help us cover the necessary costs of bringing this legal challenge to Massachusetts' marijuana laws. We must have the courage to stand up and demand our rights.

Together we can finally win the struggle and stop the practice of arresting cannabis consumers.

Thanks for caring and sharing,

Allen St. Pierre
NORML Executive Director

This letter brings up Jury Nullification as a method of protecting citizens from bad laws. It's too bad that cases where it really matters, i.e. government vs. the people, this is not used to tell the gov to keep their corrupted hands off of us legally. However, it would serve as a useful tool were the situation to come up and might serve as precedent towards a less intrusive gov.

Legal Challenge to Massachusetts Marijuana Laws Begins March 20 - Guest - 03-18-2008

OJ Simpson is probably the best recent example of jury nullification...albeit wrongly.