NORML Founder And High Times Publisher Tell MA Court: Make Private Cannabis Use Legal For Adults

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director October 14, 2009


    Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson will be arguing the appeal of my marijuana conviction for sharing a joint at the 2007 Boston Freedom Rally on the historic Boston Common with High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick. We both took the stand at our trial and testified under oath that we were certainly sharing a joint, and were protesting the constitutionality of the very marijuana laws under which we were arrested.

    The state law under which Rick and I were prosecuted has since been modified by a voter initiative last fall removing all criminal penalties, and setting a $100 civil fine, for the possession of up to one ounce of pot in Massachusetts. Nonetheless, it would be great if we could convince the court of appeals that the private use of marijuana in Massachusetts, as it is in Alaska, is constitutionally protected conduct.

    Keith Stroup, Esq.
    NORML Legal Counsel

    46 responses to “NORML Founder And High Times Publisher Tell MA Court: Make Private Cannabis Use Legal For Adults”

    1. jason says:


      next, you should call for the arrest of the last three presidents for possession. Clearly, they must think it should remain illegal, yet they admitted to possessing it.

    2. Nick says:

      can someone plz post the debate? i wanna watch the video or just some audio of it… can you plz share it with us or something…. Thank YOu.

      [Paul Armentano responds: Keith’s court hearing is tomorrow. Updates regarding today’s legislative hearing are available on the NORML Audio Stash blog, and on the masscann.org website. There’s video posted on Keith’s remarks here: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-26780-Boston-NORML-Examiner%7Ey2009m10d14-Massachusetts-marijuana-legalization-hearing-video-State-House-10142009%5D

    3. Rev.Sleezy says:

      Holy Smokes.

      Hemp back in Colonial Massachusetts how appropriate.

      The Universal Life Church of the Holy Smokes
      Potland, OR

    4. Stompedonmyrights says:

      Keep pushing that the laws violate our constitutionlly protected rights. That all three legisaltive constructs are base on the Constructive Fraud. Therefore Congress did not have the rights to abrogate the rights secured by the people in this matter on cannabis. That the Constructive Fraud is harmful to the Nation’s health and welfare while go aganist the will of the people.
      Keep pushing and don’t let up.
      Great work folks! We will win back what is ours in the first place.

    5. Jed The head says:

      I hope you will keep us up to date as this process moves forward. Do you think this will have any effect on the bills that will be coming up next year?
      Good luck. I hope this works and prohibition will be a thing of the past.

    6. Mike Davis says:

      This was on CNN yesterday and Obama said he will consider the legalization and of course taxation of pot. call the number and press # to voice your vote.

      973-409-3274 listen to message, press # to record your vote

      [Paul Armentano responds: This was not on CNN. The only phone numbers worth calling are those of your elected officials. This number is operated by Humor Hotlines. calling it does nothing to persuade elected officials to support marijuana law reform. See: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/drugpoll.asp%5D

    7. Luke says:

      Up to one ounce, and 25 plants, in your home is legal in Alaska? Are you kidding me? Hell, I need to move to Alaska, man! I didn’t know legality of this nature existed ANYWHERE in our country. Are you guys sure about this? I’m not doubting anyone – but why in the hell can’t it be like that nationwide? Worldwide, even. Hell, we need to be praising Alaska for their more common sense approach. Truth be told, I think that is awesome. I feel like some great victory has just been won, and that state’s policy has probably been in effect for a long, long time now. Thanks, Alaska.

    8. CKDK29 says:

      Why can’t it be like Alaska in ALL 50 STATES.Seems to me their (Alaska) not having any problem with it

    9. CKDK29 says:

      correction 49 states

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