BOSTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana is a dangerous idea, say Massachusetts prosecutors who admit to trying pot themselves.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone and Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe, who are leading the charge against a state ballot initiative to keep small pot possession charges off criminal records, all say they smoked marijuana when younger, The Boston Globe reported Monday.
But that hasn't stopped them from saying Question 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot, which would make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine without placement on permanent criminal records, is wrong-headed, the newspaper said.
The prosecutors told the Globe they have learned from their mistakes and say they worry that decriminalizing marijuana possession would lead to more drug use, benefit drug dealers, increase violence on the streets and create safety hazards on the roads.
"I think it's hypocritical for the district attorneys to insist on keeping lifelong barriers for folks who weren't as lucky as they were by avoiding arrest," countered Whitney Taylor, chairwoman of the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy.