State certifies election; new pot law in force on Jan. 2.Byline: John J. Monahan
BOSTON - It's official. The votes have been counted and certified and the 2008 election process is over.
The state's results were certified Tuesday by a vote of the Governor's Council, which means the governor will send winning candidates an official notice of their election and new statutes adopted by referenda to decriminalize de·crim·i·nal·ize
tr.v. de·crim·i·nal·ized, de·crim·i·nal·iz·ing, de·crim·i·nal·iz·es
To reduce or abolish criminal penalties for: decriminalize the use of marijuana. possession of marijuana and prohibit greyhound greyhound, breed of tall, swift, sight hound developed nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt. It stands about 26 in. (66 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 65 lb (29.5 kg). dog racing dog racing, trials of speed between dogs. Now contested on oval tracks, the sport developed from the ancient practice of coursing, in which specially trained dogs chase game animals in the open field. are set to become law Jan. 2.
The Governor's Council made rapid work of the final formal step in the state election process when it voted unanimously to certify the election results Tuesday on a voice vote that took less than 30 seconds and garnered no discussion.
On the federal level, the Electoral College electoral college, in U.S. government, the body of electors that chooses the president and vice president. The Constitution, in Article 2, Section 1, provides: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, is set to meet Dec. 15 to formally elect Sen. Barack Obama as president and Sen. Joseph Biden as vice president.
In a record turnout for the state, 3,102,995 voters cast ballots in the Nov. 4 election out of a total population of 6.4 million. Mr. Obama won all 12 of the state's electoral votes with 1,904,097 votes to Sen. John McCain's 1,108,854, giving the Democrat a margin of 61.8 percent to 35.99 percent.
Brian S The name Brian (sometimes spelled Bryan) comes from an Irish backround. It is of Celtic origin and its meaning may be "hill" or "strong, noble, and high". . McNiff, spokesman for Secretary of State William F. Galvin William Francis Galvin (born on September 17, 1950) is the current Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth (Massachusetts's Secretary of State). Early life and career , said that under state law established by a 1972 Supreme Judicial Court ruling, referenda approved by voters must take effect 30 days after the official certification by the Governor's Council.
The dog racing law will be in effect starting Jan. 2, but will only begin to prohibit dog racing on which betting occurs starting Jan.1, 2010, as stipulated in the initiative petition that appeared on the ballot. The state Racing Commission will be prohibited from accepting or approving any applications or requests for dog racing dates after Jan. 1, 2010, and any person violating the law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000.
The marijuana law will replace the present criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less with a new system of civil penalties. Civil offenses under the law would be excluded from the state's criminal offender record information. Adults found in possession of up to one ounce under the new law would be subject to forfeiture The involuntary relinquishment of money or property without compensation as a consequence of a breach or nonperformance of some legal obligation or the commission of a crime. The loss of a corporate charter or franchise as a result of illegality, malfeasance, or Nonfeasance. of the marijuana and a $100 fine.
Offenders under 18 would be subject to the same forfeiture and, if they complete a drug awareness program within one year of the offense, the same $100 fine.
For offenders under 18 the new law also requires their parents or legal guardian be notified of the offense and the option for the offender to complete a drug awareness program that is to be developed by the Department of Youth Services. That program could include 10 hours of community service and at least four hours of instruction or group discussion concerning the use and abuse of marijuana and other drugs.
The penalty for those under 18 who fail to complete a drug awareness program within one year could be increased to $1,000 unless the offender showed an inability to pay, or an inability to participate in such a program.
The law specifies possession of an ounce or less can not be grounds for state or local government to impose any additional penalties or sanctions, such as denying student financial aid, public housing, public financial assistance, unemployment benefits, the right to operate a motor vehicle or the opportunity to serve as a foster parent or adoptive parent Noun 1. adoptive parent - a person who adopts a child of other parents as his or her own child
parent - a father or mother; one who begets or one who gives birth to or nurtures and raises a child; a relative who plays the role of guardian .
The law would allow local ordinances A local ordinance is a law usually found in a municipal code. In the United States, these laws are enforced locally in addition to state law and Federal law. See also
Bylaws may specify the qualifications, rights, and liabilities of membership, and the powers, duties, and grounds for the dissolution of an that would prohibit public use of marijuana, and will not affect existing laws concerning operating a motor vehicle or other actions while under the influence of marijuana or selling, manufacturing or trafficking in marijuana.
The money from fines under the new law will go to the city or town where the offense occurred.
Gov. Deval L. Patrick has directed the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to prepare plans to implement the law before the effective date. Jill T. Butterworth, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, said yesterday that the office will develop plans to enforce the new law in coordination with other law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). over the next 30 days.
"Our office will continue to work collaboratively with EOPSS EOPSS Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (Massachusetts) and the district attorneys and law enforcement agencies on implementation," she said. "It's an ongoing process."