Published: Thursday, March 8, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012 15:03
McSoley speaking at Hempfest last fall
On Tuesday, March 6th, just a few hundred feet away from Suffolk's campus at the Massachusetts State House, House Bill 1371 was discussed by Massachusetts residents, representatives and aids of the representatives – a bill regarding the legalization and taxation of marijuana. During the seven-hour spiel, SUNORML president Sean McSoley willingly gave one of the most heartfelt testimonies they have ever seen in that historic building.
McSoley, a senior at Suffolk, plans to graduate in May with a degree in Entrepreneurship. This is the first year that he has headed the organization, and although the group is upset that he’s leaving, they're proud of the way he has evolved as a leader within the group. These leadership characteristics come from many activities that Sean has done throughout his life, but mostly from one important night during the fall of 2009 in the Boston Commons.
During that fall, Sean had left his accounting class in the nighttime and decided with a few friends to go smoke a joint in the Commons. They arrived there, found a bench, and wasted no time lighting up the marijuana cigarette. Within minutes, two men who had been suspiciously hanging around the area approached Sean and his friends, demanding that they give them their weed. Sean reluctantly denied giving them the personal, legally decriminalized amount of marijuana he possessed at the time and paid a hefty price for his own dignity – a price that is much higher than any inflated value that marijuana is being sold at on the streets today.
McSoley was stabbed six times and left for dead.
He was immediately taken to Tufts Medical Center and at the time, many of his friends thought he wouldn’t make it through the night.
Sean survived and he came back better than ever, describing himself as more focused and more grateful for his right to live than ever before. He told this story in front of hundreds of people in room A2 of the State House that day, and it (for once) drew the attention of the usually inattentive Representatives on the Board.
One member of the Board boldly called Sean “nervous” at the beginning of his speech because he was a “student of Suffolk University.” In fact, McSoley was not nervous during this situation just because he was a student, he was simply anxious to give normally uninformed people an example of why the prohibition of marijuana is a problem within our society that ruins--and ends--many lives because it is illegal.
It's evident that McSoley's story is both sad and extremely convincing as to why marijuana should be legalized and taxed. As such a pure-to-heart person, there is nobody better to explain his own mistakes other than himself to such a large number of people.
McSoley has recognized that there is an error in the system and that it caused him misfortune but in turn has vowed to try to change the laws in an effort to keep people out similar situations. He is a down-to-earth marijuana advocate who understands the true reason behind the marijuana reform cause and hopes that one day Massachusetts will see that without regulation, crime will only continue.
For more information or to support McSoley's cause, e-mail SUNORML.