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Tell Us: Should Needham Increase Marijuana Fines?

The town is looking to add harsher penalties for public consumption whether or not Question 3 passes in Massachusetts.

In one month, Massachusetts voters will decide whether to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. However that vote goes, officials in Needham have proposed a new bylaw that would raise the fines for smoking marijuana in public.

Needham officials have said the proposal was not created because of Question 3 on the state ballot but that the idea to increase the fines has been under discussion for about two years, according to a recent Boston.com article. However, the statewide initiative did encourage proponents to move the bylaw change forward.

The item does not appear on Needham's Oct. 29 special Town Meeting warrant, and the earliest it would come before voters is at the annual Town Meeting this spring.

If the Needham bylaw passes, someone caught smoking marijuana in public could face a criminal charge and a fine of $300 or a civil citation with a fine of $200 for each offense, along with other penalties, according to the Boston.com article.

So what do you think? Should Needham increase the fines for public consumption of marijuana? Should the town only add harsher penalties if Question 3 passes? Or should the town scrap the bylaw and allow the state to regulate marijuana use and penalties? Tell us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.

John Casy October 08, 2012 at 05:24 PM
The goverment has lost the war on Marijuana. There should be no fines for public consumption of marijuana. Its time for people to stand up against the laws against using pot. Its no one business if someone smokes pot. A example should be made of any police officer or judge who bothers someone for pot use.. Time to take our rights and streets back from the police.
Kevin_Hunt October 08, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Vote Yes on Measure #3
Paul Hurteau October 09, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I would give it no more punishment than an open container fine or a drinking in public fine. No less, no more! Vote yes on 3
Carol Lang November 07, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Needham should absolutely NOT increase the fines for marijuana. A criiminal chatge is ridiculous. That would ruin more lives than smoking pot. Too many people need marijuana for health reasons, our country has completely failed people who have chronic pain.

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