THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
QUESTION 2

Let current law stand

October 26, 2008
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I WOULD like to thank the Globe editorial board for its thoughtful position in urging a "no" vote on Question 2 in its Oct. 21 editorial. However, I believe David Abel has done a disservice to readers with his Oct. 20 article "DAs fight bid to ease penalty for marijuana."

The story does not offer a complete picture of what the current law actually is. Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Massachusetts, and for first-time offenders after six months, the charge must be dismissed, the record must be sealed, and most important, it "shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of any disqualification or any other purpose."

Ministers, educators, and community and political leaders across the state have lined up against Question 2 because they understand the devastating impact drugs have on our children and families. These officials have dedicated their lives to improving our communities and have seen firsthand the toll of drug-related addiction, car accidents, and crime. This article did a real disservice to them and their important work.

MICHAEL O'KEEFE
Boston
The writer is district attorney for the Cape and Islands, and president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association.

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