Marijuana

November 03,2008
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera( )

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

I walked late into a pastors’ meeting, and sat next to my old boss, a well-known pastor in the city of Boston. He said, “There aren’t knifes in my back are there?” His comments are those of a wounded man. He is still hurt that I left his organization to work for another faith-based agency. I didn’t respond. I just sat down. I asked him about Question 2 (the decriminalization of marijuana) that’s on tomorrow’s election ballot in Massachusetts. The Boston Globe quoted him as adamantly urging voters to vote against Question 2. I told him that I completely agreed with him, that its passing will send mixed messages to our youth and our communities. I don’t want to give our youth authorization to use marijuana. Yet I have a criminal record today because I was arrested with 15 “individual wrapped bags of marijuana,” as the South End News reported. And I went to jail! I am torn on Question 2. I don’t want to give consent to use marijuana; but neither do I want youth arrested for a bag or two. I know what it feels like to have a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information). You can’t find a job or housing; you can’t get a school loan. I have been on both sides of the fence, and I am struggling. Maybe I will wait until I am in the booth before I make a decision.