BOSTON, Nov. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Michael Maloney, independent candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney:
As a criminal defense attorney I believe cannabis legalization epitomizes the very essence of criminal justice reform. While the criminal justice system is slow to catch up, cannabis has experienced massive global changes in 2018 at an undeniably record pace.
With every election season, cannabis is gaining momentum in the US from voters in California to Kalamazoo. Right now, cannabis is poised to decisively shed its taboo status from Main Street all the way to Wall Street. As a criminal defense attorney with a private practice and a CBD business owner, I have spent a large part of my career advocating for the decriminalization of cannabis and helping countless individuals find treatment and support with legal access to cannabis in a safe, confidential and compliant way further utilizing the positive benefits of this exit drug and safe opioid alternative.
With Canada and recently Mexico passing swift legislation to decriminalize cannabis, the industry will soon see legalization along the entire length of North America's Pacific Coast. But where does this leave criminal justice reform in our community and how can I impact those seeking treatment, relief, recreation and even expungements in regards to cannabis as Suffolk County District Attorney?
Let's take a closer look.
I have worked at the forefront of this industry since 2011 and have been heavily involved with the transitioning of Article 12 from medical to recreational use in our state. I've pushed the envelope across the board in regards to furthering the evolution of cannabis reform, simply because it's the right thing to do. As Suffolk County District Attorney, I propose massive expungements for cannabis charges, and will not prosecute any cannabis charges under my administration. The burden non-violent cannabis charges places on the justice system does nothing to protect the community, it simply creates a financial burden on taxpayers and unjustly forces countless individuals into the legal system. Thousands of individuals within our community are finding overwhelming benefits from cannabis at a time where opioids are the real issue, decimating families across the county.
While I will be strong on crime as Suffolk County DA, a majority of individuals going into the penal system from addiction to mental illness need to be offered treatment over incarceration. The role of the DA's office will be to work in unison with police departments and various local entities to enforce progressive and effective change. Justice reform in regards to cannabis is one tool that can be used to battle the current opioid epidemic and create a legal system that refuses to punish those seeking treatment and relief. Another tool I'd like to implement in keeping our community safe is harm reduction zones. With proactive measures it's possible to spend less and save more while ensuring the safety of the public. Sometimes the quickest path to solving the problem is often controversial because it goes against the grain. However, substantial changes and positive results often come from bold, progressive moves. This theory has been tested throughout MA and around the US with remarkably positive results that I would like to replicate in our local community.
As a vast majority of the population is beginning to recognize the extensive benefits of cannabis, Massachusetts has been at the forefront of justice reform in regards to cannabis legalization and de-criminalization. But, there is more work to be done. As Suffolk County DA, I propose to further this revolution, improving cannabis regulations and justice reform in an effort to create more opportunities for those seeking treatment, recovery, recreation, business opportunities and a healthier lifestyle with the safe and compliant use of cannabis.
Contact: Linda Arian
SOURCE Michael Maloney for Suffolk County District Attorney