Massachusetts

BOSTON, Mass. (Oct. 21, 2017) – Last week, a Massachusetts joint legislative committee held a hearing on three bills that would take a first step toward limiting the impact of federal programs that militarize local police. Rep. Denise Provost (D-Middlesex) introduced House Bill 2503 (H.2503) earlier this year. Sen. Michael Barrett (D-Third Middlesex) sponsors a Senate version…

BOSTON, Mass. (Aug. 7, 2017) –  Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that court officers in the state do not have the authority to detain individuals solely based on requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The ruling sets the stage for widespread non-cooperation with federal immigration detainers in Massachusetts. The court…

BOSTON, Mass. (July 28, 2017) – After weeks of wrangling, the Massachusetts legislature finally passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state last week. When fully implemented, legalization will take another big step toward nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition of cannabis in effect. Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in 2016, but the…

BOSTON, Mass. (June 12, 2017) – Last week, an important Massachusetts joint committee held a hearing on three bills that would reform the state’s asset forfeiture laws to prohibit the state from taking property without a criminal conviction in most cases.The legislation also takes on federal forfeiture programs by banning prosecutors from circumventing state laws by…

BOSTON, Mass. (May 30, 2017) – A bill introduced in the Massachusetts House would take a first step toward limiting he impact of federal programs that militarize local police. Rep. Denise Provost (D-Middlesex) introduced House Bill 2503 (H.2503) earlier this year. The legislation would prohibit law enforcement agencies from acquiring a long list of military…

BOSTON, Mass. (May 23, 2017) – A bill introduced in the Massachusetts Senate would limit the warrantless use of surveillance drones. The legislation would not only establish important privacy protections at the state level, it would also help thwart the federal surveillance state.Sen. Michael Moore (D-Shrewsbury), along with a bipartisan pair of cosponsors, introduced Senate…

BOSTON, Mass. (May 15, 2017) – Bills introduced in the Massachusetts House and Senate would reform the state’s asset forfeiture laws to prohibit the state from taking property without a criminal conviction in most cases.The legislation also takes on federal forfeiture programs by banning prosecutors from circumventing state laws by passing cases off to the…

BOSTON, Mass. (April 14, 2017) – A bill introduced in the Massachusetts House would create a licensing program for the production and processing of industrial hemp for commercial purposes in the state, rejecting the unconstitutional federal prohibition of the same. Rep. Chris Walsh (D-Middlesex) presented House Bill 3507 (H.3507) earlier this year. The legislation would…

BOSTON, Mass. (March 13, 2017) – A Massachusetts bill would legalize herd share agreements for the sale of raw milk in the state. Passage into law would take an important step toward rejecting a federal prohibition scheme in effect. Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) introduced Senate Bill 442 (S.442) January 23, with the State House concurring. It…