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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Norton Special town Meeting to consider $300 fine

Steven Epstein of MassCann/NORML writes: 
Norton Special town Meeting to consider $300 marijuana fine

Town meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Norton Middle School.

If you live in Norton get to this meeting with your friends and defeat the madness.

If you don't urge your friends who do to go and defeat this madness.
There are a number of actions one can take to defeat these proposals.

1)  Go to Selectmen's meeting when they are considering inclusion of the article and object.  If police are complaining about inability to enforce state law, tell them to file Small Claims Complaints.
2)   If your Town has an Open Meeting where all registered voters can participate talk about proposal with friends and neighbors before the meeting:
a)   Move to pass over or table;
b)   Move to amend by limiting geographic scope, e.g., to specific locations as in Methuen in 2009 and to reduce the penalty to a smaller amount, it was reduced to $50, in Swampscott in 2009;
c)   Move that the Article be placed on the next possible election ballot;
d)   Move for the vote on the article to be taken by secret ballot at Town Meeting.


I would like to add that showing up to these ordinances meetings does often make a difference. I've been to many of them and more than half the time our showing up has delayed, stopped or changed the ordinances that are being proposed.

See Cambridge & Methuen, MA ordinance hearings and how Cambridge slowed down the process (has presently not increased the fine) and Methuen greatly reduced the scope and fine of their ordinance..

In the city of Cambridge, Steven Epstein and I spoke honestly at times commending the police but questioning their rationale and statistics used to justify increasing the fine for marijuana. At the end of the meeting, we were approached in a very friendly manner by Cambridge Police officers, City Councilors, and Cambridge Public Schools employees. In Cambridge, MA I am proud to say that the public servants care about their community and kids over being right! 

In Methuen, Prospect Hill's Eagle Tribune newspaper headline generating video and their outstanding reputation in the city of Methuen led to the Mayor radically changing his ordinance in our favor. With lots of handshakes with the city council and a photo op with Methuen's Mayor Bill Manzi. 

Note: A special town meeting is not the same format as in Methuen and Cambridge which were City Council and Ordinance meetings respectively.

Our power of showing up is always the same no matter the format. Voters and elected officials want to hear from both sides, if we don't show up, you know what will happen.  

Cambridge, MA Marijuana Ordinance Hearing

Mike Cann & Prospect Hill Prospect Hill meet with Methuen Mayor to discuss marijuana ordinance 

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