Law enforcement opposed to pot proposal PITTSFIELD, Mass. - The Question 2 controversy is hitting Berkshire County.
Local leaders are rallying against the proposition that would lessen penalties for first-time marijuana offenders.
Dozens of law enforcement officers and leaders gathered at the steps of Pittsfield City Hall to urge you not to be fooled by Question 2.
"Question 2 sends a wrong message to our youth, that it's ok to smoke dope," Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless said.
The proposition lessens the penalties for first-time marijuana offenders in the Bay State. Instead of being charged criminally, those found with up to an ounce of pot would get a ticket and pay a $100 fine.
The district attorney says an ounce of pot is no small amount. A drug dealer can make up to $500 on the sale. So he's says the danger in passing this is what's to stop a dealer from coming here to the high school to sell to students? Even if he's caught, he's only paying $100 in fines.
"I personally find Question 2 offensive," Pittsfield Police Capt. Michael Wynn said.
Wynn says the state is already cutting back public safety resources and Question 2 will strain his department.
"By pulling it out and making it a civil offense means we'll have to go seek those offenders. It's more work for us," Wynn said.
The Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy gathered more than 125,000 signatures to put Question 2 on the ballot. Chairperson Whitney Taylor says the process of arresting, booking and arraigning first-time offenders costs the commonwealth millions of dollars a year.
Capeless will debate Taylor at Berkshire Community College this coming Thursday at 7 p.m