Harold and Kumar Go To Provincetown

smoking It hardly seems possible, but as of today Seekonk is cooler than Providence. The Bay State’s marijuana decriminalization legislation takes effect today, but there is some confusion regarding enforcement. Writing for The Boston Globe Milton J. Valencia discusses the ambiguities of the law, and how the state of Massachusetts is trying to advise local police departments on its practical application. People caught with less than ounce will/may be issued a citation.

Violators may appeal the citation – a civil infraction – in court within 21 days or pay the $100 fine set by the statute. Municipalities would be responsible for collecting the fines, according to the recommendations.

With much confusion over how police should handle marijuana possession, ranging from enforcement measures to whether officers themselves can be punished for using the drug, the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security released the seven pages of guidelines hoping to set a clear standard before the law takes effect Friday.

Also discussed is how other THC-related substances are to be handled.

The recommendations also unveiled new interpretations of the initiative petition, similar to acts passed in 13 states, that was approved overwhelmingly by voters in November. Not only is possessing an ounce or less of marijuana a civil offense, but the same amount of any substance – including hashish, or hash oil – with the active ingredient THC would also be decriminalized.

In addition, the state is asking communities to consider passing local ordinances criminalizing the use of marijuana in public, which, as of Friday, would not warrant any punishment beyond the civil citation.

The law states that simple possession is not an arrestable or reportable offense that would taint someone’s criminal record.

As always, the officer on the street has discretion in these matters, and this may indeed become a de facto legalization. Fine with me.

1 thought on “Harold and Kumar Go To Provincetown”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence Daily Dose