Headache for Mass. Cops: How to Enforce New Marijuana Law

“Back in November, Massachusetts voters passed a ballot measure — called Question 2 — that, on Jan. 2, will turn possession of an ounce or less of marijuana into an offense on par with a traffic violation. Now police and prosecutors are wondering how the heck they’re going to enforce it. Here’s the story from the Boston Globe.

Among the questions enforcers are trying to answer:

  • What should police do with people caught with several joints who refuse to identify themselves?
  • Will state-run laboratories that test drugs seized in criminal cases continue to do so for small quantities of marijuana?
  • Will police chiefs discipline officers who spark up a spliff after work?
  • Can a judge summarily revoke the probation of a convicted offender on the basis of a citation for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana?

“I’m not suggesting that officers are doing it,” David F. Capeless, president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, told the Globe. “But what you’re doing, whether it’s officers or other public employees – transportation workers, bus drivers, teachers – you’re removing a disincentive by saying: ‘We won’t be able to do anything to you. You won’t get disciplined for this. It won’t mean your job. It may mean a $100 fine.’

Proponents of the change – including financier George Soros, who spent more than $400,000 in favor of decriminalizing marijuana – said it would ensure that those caught with small quantities would avoid the taint of a criminal record.”

(via WSJ Law Blog)


  1. “Intent to distribute” is probably still a big offence, so we can still keep those darkies down without interfering with the Kimmy Buffett concerts!

  2. Lovin’ the snarkasm Ted.
    “Kimmy Buffet”?
    Time for another margarita and a joint.

  3. Fringe Jeopardy Finalist

    December 29, 2008 at 4:26 am

    I’ll take “HEY!! Put yer hands up!! Whatcha doin’ over there?!!” for $420, Alex.

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