BOSTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Reduced marijuana penalties are not enough, legalization advocates in Boston say.
The Boston Freedom Rally, the second since a 2008 referendum eased Massachusetts marijuana laws, drew thousands to the Boston Common Saturday, the Boston Globe reported. It offered live music; vendors selling T-shirts, pipes and hemp products; and speakers, including Green-Rainbow gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein.
The rally was sponsored by MassCann, the state's chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Under state law, possession of up to an ounce of the drug is punishable only by confiscation and a $100 fine. Violators used to face up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500 and a criminal record.
Two people were arrested at the rally for possession with intent to distribute Class D marijuana and 34 civil citations were issued for possession, said a police spokesman.
"We have a terrible problem with violence resulting from the black market of marijuana,'' Stein told the Globe. "We are allowing millions to flow into the criminal economy. By bringing it into a legal framework, we can stop that money and use it in our communities.''