49:15 minutes (23.64 MB)
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Senators Martin Looney and Toni Harp have introduced legislation calling for the creation of "a more sensible state policy regarding marijuana possession by classifying the possession of a small amount of marijuana as an infraction." Such a law would effectively decriminalize the possession of small amounts of the drug, as Massachusetts did late last year. The massive state budget deficit has prompted lawmakers to scrutinize every spending category—including law enforcement.
Proponents of reform say that the cost of arresting, investigating, and prosecuting, low-level users outpaces the benefits of a zero tolerance policy. Critics say that decriminalization leads to confusion, both for young people, and law-enforcement officers trying to fairly enforce marijuana laws. Coming up on Where We Live, we’ll consider the question with State Senator Martin Looney. We’ll get a law enforcement prospective from a Massachusetts officer and talk about the latest research on drug policy.
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