Marijuana Possession Laws Eased in Massachusetts

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pot-edit.jpgThe New Year brought in many changes as people did the customary resolution making. A big change also took place in Massachusetts, where the State Executive Office of Public Safety and Security released information causing significant shifts in marijuana possession laws there. As a result, since January 1, 2009, small amounts of marijuana possession have been decriminalized, making getting caught by police in Massachusetts with less than an ounce, punishable by a civil fine of $100. Anyone caught with these amounts will no longer have a criminal record as they won't be reported to the state's criminal history board.

Unlike resolutions made on the first day of the New Year, the new marijuana possession law in Massachusetts is not going to disappear whimsically. However, Emily LaGrassa, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Martha Coakley, reportedly said the Legislature could at some point amend or repeal the new law. This is a step they have taken on some previous initiatives passed by votes

Law enforcement officials are reportedly not at all enthused about the new measure. The Herald News reported that they are strongly opposed to the law that went in effect on January 1st.

It was in November that the wheels began to really turn on this law when, with 90 percent of the state's precincts reporting, the Question 2 proposition, which is how the proposal was titled, was overwhelmingly approved with a favorable 65 percent to 35 percent.

Ecstatic about the whole thing, the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, expressed their joy for the people. Chairwoman of that committee, Whitney Taylor said "The people were ahead of the politicians on this issue; they recognize and want a more sensible approach to our marijuana policy." She said the general public wants to see more mobilization around very serious crimes instead of marijuana possession. Taylor said now the punishment will fit the offense.

Concern for potential consequences of such a law and how it will impact on especially high schoolers who experiment have been floating around. Some feel the law will send them a message that smoking marijuana is okay. There was no mention made however of the many unsavory indulgences introduced to said young people, supporters opined.

For the moment the law stands and law enforcement officers are training up and preparing themselves to be professional about the whole thing, whether they are in favor or not. Some have expressed the need for by-laws that would curb public marijuana use, as is the case with alcohol.

One hitch for the marijuana users is - police will continue to check for drivers under the influence of marijuana.