STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
MTF ADDS ITS VOICE TO ANTI-MARIJUANA CAMPAIGN
Predicting marijuana users will grow their own plants and take other steps to avoid taxes, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation on Thursday added its voice to those opposing Question 4, which legalizes adult use and retail sale of marijuana.

In a position paper signed by MTF President Eileen McAnneny, she concludes, “People have a lot to consider as they vote on Question 4, but believing this is a significant new revenue source for the state is not one of them. Question 4 is a bad deal for taxpayers that could leave us subsidizing the marijuana industry and that’s why the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is opposing it.” McAnneny called the initiative petition’s home-grow provision, which allows every adult to grow six plants, “the most generous in the nation and questioned why marijuana users would opt to buy retail and pay a 10 percent tax. An exemption from taxation for medical marijuana will also incent people to use that system as a means of accessing marijuana to avoid taxation, according to MTF. The foundation disputed the question sponsor’s claims that its passage will generate $100 million in new tax revenues, or more than enough to cover regulatory costs. Even if $100 million were generated, MTF says “it is indisputable that expenses will outpace revenues in the short-term.” MTF also predicted indirect costs associated with addiction services, emergency room visits, and “drugged driving.” The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which supports Question 4, on Thursday released a map showing the locations in Boston of police incidents and arrests for marijuana, concluding that it confirms that “while all races of people smoke and sell marijuana at similar rates, marijuana enforcement is disproportionately concentrated in communities of color.”
– Michael Norton/SHNS

Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Position on the Legalization of Marijuana

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Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association

Position on the Legalization of Marijuana

 

 

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association has released their position paper on Question 4, legalization of Marijuana. See below.

Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association
Position on the Legalization of Marijuana

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (MCOPA) strongly opposes the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts. As veteran police officers, we believe that allowing the delivery, sales, transfer, growing, cultivating, processing and manufacturing of marijuana, and its derivatives would have a detrimental impact upon the citizens of Massachusetts for a variety of reasons.

Given that Massachusetts is mired in an addiction epidemic of historic proportions, now is not the time to increase access to marijuana, marijuana by-products and the high-concentrate THC products that would be permitted should the November ballot question pass. While many voters may be under the impression that the ballot question would permit the sale of marijuana in plant
form, it would also allow for the commercial sale of potent extracts including hash oil, resins, tinctures and various forms of concentrates that would include marijuana candy and beverages containing high levels of THC.

Should the November ballot initiative pass, we believe that Massachusetts would quickly suffer the same undesirable impacts taking place in Colorado and Washington State, where recently enacted laws now allow commercial marijuana sales. Those states have already seen surges in impaired driving, drugged-driving fatalities and diversion of bulk marijuana to other states, as well as the phenomenon of people flocking to those states for the purpose of buying and using drugs there. Most alarmingly, a study recently released in Colorado showed increasing use of drugs by young people after marijuana was legalized there.

While traffic fatalities involving drivers under the influence of marijuana and THC have increased in Colorado and Washington, there are no standardized field sobriety tests for driving while high, nor is there a scientific standard of measurement for law enforcement to determine impairment. There is no breathalyzer for weed.

The proponents of marijuana legalization would have voters believe that draconian drug laws have resulted in the arrest of people for possessing pot, but that’s not true. First of all, since 1975 possession of marijuana offenses in Massachusetts were automatically dismissed and the records were sealed. And since 2009, possession of an ounce or less of marijuana has been
“decriminalized” and people caught with weed are issued a $100 citation. In fact, as a result of decriminalization police officers have lost the authority to search vehicles for marijuana in all but the most extraordinary cases.

The proponents would also have you believe that allowing marijuana sales would cut into the profits of organized crime, but that’s not what has happened elsewhere. Our colleagues in Colorado have seen drug dealers come from other states to take advantage of the fact that people there can now buy pot legally. And given the choice between buying it in a store where it is “regulated” and taxed, and getting it on the street where no tax is paid, customers are attracted to the street. Colorado is not making the tax income voters had hoped.

We are encouraged by the recent outcome of a ballot initiative in Ohio where voters rejected legalization in spite of a $25 million campaign by the pro pot movement. Massachusetts voters should brace themselves for an onslaught of advertising financed by the Marijuana Policy Project and other pro-marijuana groups over the summer and leading into the November election. We hope and trust that voters will see through the rhetoric and falsehoods and realize that there is simply no advantage to legalizing the commercial sale of marijuana, and that the detrimental effects seen in Colorado and Washington would occur here if the ballot question were to pass.

We are proud to join the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts in working to defeat this terrible idea. We are encouraged that Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, Mayor Walsh and Attorney General Healey spoke out so soon about their opposition, as did the Construction Industries of Massachusetts, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the Association for Behavioral Healthcare, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, all Massachusetts District Attorneys and many others.

Legalizing drug sales at this time in our history is a terrible idea. There is no benefit and the consequences would be dire. We hope voters will soundly reject the ballot question.

 

Chief Dave Ricardi

October 2016

Be Seen and Stay Safe……

Deer hunting season now underway in Massachusetts

Our residents are urged to wear florescent orange along with their pet while walking in wooded areas during the dates listed below.
Youth Deer Hunt Day: Oct. 1
Paraplegic Hunt:Nov. 3 – Nov. 5
Archery Season: Oct. 17 – Nov. 26…
Hunting on Sunday’s is prohibited by state law.

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN……BACK TO SCHOOL!!!

Back to school

Caution – School is back in Session
The summer is now officially over and the schools will be in session beginning on Thursday, September 2nd. We all can expect to be faced with an increase in various types of traffic.
The students will be making their way to school by utilizing a number of different modes of transportation. Some students will either be driven to school by bus or a parent while others will get some exercise by either walking or riding their bicycles to reach their ultimate destination.
This begins the season for an obvious increase in School Bus traffic. It is important that we keep in mind the traffic rules related to School Buses. Remember these vehicles are transporting our future leaders so drive carefully. A school bus driver will display the yellow lights on the bus when they are approaching a bus stop. Once the bus is stopped the driver will activate the red lights and the extended stop sign. When the students have safely exited the bus driver will deactivate the red lights and the stop sign.
If you are travelling before the schools are in session or directly after the schools are released for the day you can expect delays. We are asking that you be patient and understanding of the situation that everyone will be faced with until next summer.
Tips for driving in a school zone:
Slow Down Stop for School Buses
Allow More Time Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk
Stay Alert Beware of Students walking to School
Learn the Rules Follow the Speed Limit
Thank you in Advance

Chief Dave Ricardi

Southwick Police v/s Southwick Fire 2016 Blood Donor

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Challenge

Monday, August 1

4 pm – 8 pm

15 Depot Street, Southwick

Each eligible donor will receive a FREE BIG E Ticket!

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Sign Up Today!!! Walk-ins are welcome!! Please contact Sue at 413.569.5348

Ext. 609

Police V/S Fire Blood Donor Challenge only happens ONCE a year. Let’s help the Southwick Police Department WIN the trophy back!!!

Picture 2May the best team win!

THANK YOU…….

To: The Citizens of Southwick

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Southwick for their outpouring of support in light of recent national events. So many of the members of the community have taken their time to share their words of thanks, gifts of coffee and food for the Officers and staff, and other expressions of their never-ending support.  

It is our goal, every day and at every level of this Department, to serve the citizens of this community and to keep the Town of Southwick safe.  Your support and recognition of our efforts fuels and renews our dedication to this goal and touches the heart of each member of this Department.

With great appreciation,

Chief Dave Ricardi

Massachusetts Fireworks Laws

Massachusetts Fireworks Laws
The 4th of July Holiday is less than 2 weeks away. This is a holiday that traditional brings about the illegal use of fireworks throughout our Community and others. Our Officers as usual will be enforcing the laws where possible. Our main focus is to make sure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.
The laws and penalties pertaining to the illegal use and possession of fireworks have been provided below.
Chapter 148, Section 35 Possession of Bombs and Explosives
• No person shall have in his/her possession or under his/her control any bomb or other high explosive, as defined by the rules and regulations made under Section nine (9), contrary to the provisions of this chapter or any rules or regulation made thereunder.
• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for not more than two and one half years, or both, and any bomb or explosive found in his/her possession or under his/her control on such violation shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth.
Chapter 148, Section 39 Illegal Possession and Exploding of Fireworks
• No person shall sell, or keep or offer for sale, or have in his/her possession, or under his/her control, or use, or explode, or cause to explode, any combustible or explosive composition or substance, or any combination of such compositions or substances, or any other article, which was prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation.
• Fireworks includes: For the purpose of this section the word “Fireworks” shall include compositions, substances or other articles and shall also include blank cartridges or toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of toy balloon which requires fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, cherry bombs, silver salutes, M-80’s torpedoes, sky-rockets, Roman candles, sparklers, rockets, wheels, colored fires, fountains, mines, serpents, or other fireworks of like construction or any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance.
• Fireworks DOES NOT include: The term “fireworks” as used shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps or plastic caps containing twenty-five hundredths grains or less of explosive compound are used, if they are so constructed that the hand cannot come in contact with the cap when in place for the explosion, or toy pistol paper caps or plastic caps which contain less than twenty hundredths grains of explosive mixture, the sale and use of which shall be permitted at all times; and provided, further, that this section does not apply:
• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever shall sell or keep for sale or offer for sale any fireworks in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1000) or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year or both.
• Penalty is a Misdemeanor. Whoever shall have in his/her possession or under his/her control, or whoever shall use or explode or cause to explode any fireworks in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).
• The mere possession of fireworks is a non-arrestable misdemeanor. An Officer may seize the fireworks (since they are contraband) and later seek complaints. This does not mean that in extreme cases Officers are precluded from using other charges such as disorderly or disturbing the peace.
• Note on Seizure: Any Officer qualified to serve criminal process shall seize all of the fireworks mentioned herein without a warrant, and the fireworks seized shall, upon conviction of such violation, be forfeited to the Commonwealth.
• Notice of Seizure: Notice of such seizure of the fireworks shall immediately be sent to the Fire Marshal by the Officer making the seizure, and the fireworks seized shall be held and securely stored by the Department until the Fire Marshal or his authorized representative takes them into his/her possession for disposal.
• Fireworks DOES NOT include the following: The term “fireworks” as used shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps or plastic caps containing twenty-five hundredths grains or less of explosive compound are used, if they are so constructed that the hand cannot come in contact with the cap when in place for the explosion, or toy pistol paper caps or plastic caps which contain less than twenty hundredths grains of explosive mixture, the sale and use of which shall be permitted at all times; and provided, further, that this section does not apply:
• To the sale of any fireworks to be shipped directly out of the Commonwealth, or
• To the sale of any such article for the use of, and its use by, persons having obtained a permit for a supervised display of such fireworks from the Fire Marshall or some Officer designated by him/her therefore, under any provision of section thirty-nine A, or
• To the sale of flares, lanterns or fireworks for the use of and their use by, railroads, railways, boats, motor vehicles or other transportation agencies, or other activity, lawfully permitted or required to use any or all of such articles for signal purposes, illumination or otherwise, or
• To the sale or use of blank cartridges for a duly licensed show or theatre or for signal or ceremonial purposes in athletics or sports, or to the sale of special blank cartridges and their use in the proper operation of industrial tools and equipment only, or
• To experiments at a factory, for explosives, or
• To the sale of blank cartridges for the use of, or their use by, the militia or any organization of war veterans or other organizations authorized by law to parade in public, a color guard armed with firearms, or
• In teaching the use of firearms by experts, or
• To the sale of shells for firearms, cartridges, gunpowder, and for the purposes of using, and their use, or in connection with the hunting of game or in target practice with firearms, or
• To farmers and fruit growers who, having obtained a permit under section thirteen of chapter forty-eight, sue firecrackers for control of damage to their crops by birds
Have a Safe Holiday
Chief Dave Ricardi

20th Citizen Police Academy Graduates

Well it is over, our 20th Citizen Police Academy graduated this past Tuesday evening (05/03/2016) after spending eight (8) weeks learning about different facets of our Department and what the Officers do to on a daily basis to best serve their community. We have now educated over 450 citizens on all of the services their Police Department provide to this community.

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I would like to publicly extend by congratulations to all of the graduates who took the time from their busy schedules to participate in such a worthwhile program. The graduates each got first-hand experience in a variety of areas. There is no doubt based on the conversations I had with the graduates that this was an eye-opening experience for all and one that will be everlasting. The graduates learned first-hand what takes place from the time a complaint is called into the Department to the time a final disposition is reached. Each of the graduates had the favorite class or two during the program but they all agreed that they never realized how much work our Officers do and how many different hats they wear doing the course of their shifts.

SCAM ALERT…!!!

The Southwick Police Department has taken a complaint from a citizen who reported that they received a telephone call from an unknown person requesting donations on behalf of the local and State Police. The public should be aware that the Southwick Police Department and Massachusetts State Police do not request donations via phone from town and state residents. At this time no one is authorized to solicit funds on behalf of the Southwick Police Department or the Southwick Police Association. Should you receive a call soliciting funds on our behalf it is our advice that you not make a donation to the calling party as the funds may not be going to a legitimate charity. Thank you.