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Not Arresting Marijuana Users is Too Confusing For Police

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  1. RaverHippie
    Not Arresting Marijuana Users is Too Confusing For Police


    Voters in Massachusetts have overwhelmingly voted to stop small-time marijuana arrests, but the law-enforcement community doesn’t understand what that means:

    BOSTON - Amid confusion among police and prosecutors, a voter-approved law to decriminalize the possession of marijuana goes into effect on Jan. 2, according to a spokeswoman for the state attorney general.

    Agawam Police Chief Robert D. Campbell said there is a tremendous amount of confusion about the law.

    "Somebody has to come up with a mechanism," the chief said.

    Geline W. Williams, executive director of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, said there are some "very, very significant" problems with putting the law into effect. [The Republican]

    Fortunately, an apparent super-genius named Terence J. Franklin has come up with a theory:

    Amherst Town Meeting member Terence J. Franklin, who supports Question 2, said the new law should be easy to put in place.

    "Why not just leave people alone?" Franklin added. "What's the big deal? That will solve all the worries."

    Now that’s what I’m talking about. Maybe we should let this guy write the ballot language from now on.

    Seriously though, it’s understandable that police are entering into some new territory here. Still, there’s no question what the voters have in mind. Most people don’t think possessing marijuana should get you arrested and charged with a crime. There may be some details to iron out, but it’s really pretty silly to act like this is gonna turn the criminal justice system upside down. To even argue that is basically to admit that marijuana enforcement rules your world.

    Opponents of Question 2 campaigned tirelessly to convince voters that marijuana enforcement was a low priority and that penalties were lenient. If there was even a shred of truth to any of that, then implementing decrim should be simple.

    source





    this was taken from a blog but I couldn't pass the opportunity to share. You try telling a power-hungry police officer he can't arrest those damned hippies no more!:laugh:

    RaverHippie added 9 Minutes and 41 Seconds later...

    Here's another article on the same topic but done in a newspaper. The blog post above quotes it partially. The whole article is nice too.

    [h1]Law enforcement officials cite confusion over new Mass. marijuana law[/h1]
    by The Republican Newsroom Wednesday December 03, 2008, 7:36 PM


    By DAN RING

    BOSTON - Amid confusion among police and prosecutors, a voter-approved law to decriminalize the possession of marijuana goes into effect on Jan. 2, according to a spokeswoman for the state attorney general.

    The date was set after the Governor's Council on Wednesday voted to certify the results of the Nov. 4 election including a ballot question to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

    The question was approved by 65 percent to 35 percent statewide and passed in every county in the state.


    Emily J. LaGrassa, spokeswoman for the attorney general, said the ballot question takes effect 30 days after the officials results are presented to the Governor's Council. In an e-mail on Wednesday, she said Jan. 2 is the date the law takes effect.

    Agawam Police Chief Robert D. Campbell said there is a tremendous amount of confusion about the law.

    He said he had no information on how to issue fines or write citations. He said he is unsure who would conduct hearings on appeals of citations for marijuana possession.

    "Somebody has to come up with a mechanism," the chief said.

    Geline W. Williams, executive director of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, said there are some "very, very significant" problems with putting the law into effect.

    Amherst Town Meeting member Terence J. Franklin, who supports Question 2, said the new law should be easy to put in place.

    "Why not just leave people alone?" Franklin added. "What's the big deal? That will solve all the worries."

    According to a legal bulletin provided by the state's Trial Court to the state's district courts, Question 2 replaces criminal penalties with civil penalties for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana.

    A violator will be issued a civil citation and must either pay $100 civil penalty to a city or town clerk or request a civil hearing before a clerk or a judge.

    A copy of the citation must be sent to parents of any violator younger than 18. Such teenagers are also required within one year to attend a drug awareness program, the bulletin said.

    Terrell W. Harris, a spokesman for the state Executive Office of Public Safety, said official guidance on the law will be provided before it goes into effect.

    Public Safety Secretary Kevin M. Burke is working on the effort with the attorney general and law enforcement agencies.

    "There is nothing I can say publicly right now," Harris said.

    Hampden District Attorney William M. Bennett said last month he would drop all pending charges of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. Bennett said he would not prosecute new cases after Nov. 4.

    Bennett said he would honor the spirit of the ballot question before it legally takes effect.

    Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless said there are very serious issues that need to be resolved before the new law starts operating.

    "I think that people are going to wake up to the fact that this wasn't the very simple piece of legislation it was sold to them as," Capeless said.

    Material from the State House News Service was used for this report.

Comments

  1. Stephenwolf
    It sounds like a fairly simple piece of legislation, Confiscate Marijuana, Give a Citation for $100 dollars, tell the person they can request a hearing about the Civil fine... Thats pretty damned simple...

    It's also very nice to learn that more places in the States are deciding that marijuana isn't something worth having a criminal act. This bit of legislation keeps young adults from having a criminal record that would damage job opportunities for them later in life.
  2. tryptamaster
    yea. swim alwats thought all the acts of helping reform people hurt them more. for example, if there is an udnergorund chemist who clearly knows his chemistry, why not let him become a pharmaceutical organic chemiistry engineer and watch him closely insted of putting his ass behinf bars and destroying any chemitry career he has and FORCING him to stay an underground chemist if he wants any type of livelyhood using chemistry.
  3. Potter
    Lordy, how dumb are these people? Add a box on their little parking ticket papers
    "{ } Possession of reefer ~ $100 or show up to court in the next 10 days"

    How hard can that be? Show the cops what the legal limit is, and let them eyeball it when the encounter someone with it.

    In Seattle the cops just agreed it wasn't worth doing anything unless people were being REALLY dumb. The officer nobody saw in a video said the only arrest he had made in the past year was for some guy selling green cookies not 5 yards in front of him, making no effort to hide the large bill transaction.

    Trypmaster: That actually happens in other fields. Look up The Nuclear Boyscout. Years back a kid set himself up a "school front" and got smoke detector recyclers to "donate" the radioactive elements. Put together enough to start a small reactor in his backyard. EPA got called in and he was drafted into the navy as a nuclear technician. There's precedent but you'd be hard pressed to convince the legal system to listen.
  4. libertalism
    Kinda weird , it's decriminalized but you still have to cough up 100 dollars?
    Haha poor Americans, tho its also weird that USswiys can carrey up to 30grams and receive the same fine as someone with 5grams.
    In Belgium you can keep your things if its >5g (legally its 3g's but they are lazy or understanding ) , it gets taken away >12 and you get dealer charges for 12+.
    If a cop notices you are stoned he askes for your identification , and if you are over 18 they won't even ask to search your belongings.
    Swim had a cop saying to him and a few friends " its ok to smoke a joint once and a while"
    Another time swim and another friend got pulled over when riding bikes while smoking a joint without lights on. The cops didn't say a thing about the joint, even tho swims where in the middle of the city swims only had to turn our lights on :).
    The only shitcops you can come across in Belgium are those just recruited undercovers who sneak up on you in the parks, and ofcourse the shitbags who controle the busses from holland.
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