Massachusetts officially decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana yesterday, but many police departments across the state were essentially ignoring the voter-passed law, saying they would not even bother to ticket people they see smoking marijuana.
"We're just basically not enforcing it right now," said Mark R. Laverdure, chief of police in Clinton, a Central Massachusetts town of about 8,000 residents, who said the law was so poorly written that it cannot be enforced. "You'll probably have a lot of officers that, unless there's a caller complaining about it, won't even bother with it. They probably handled a lot of it informally before and probably more so now."
Andrew J. Sluckis Jr., chief of police in Auburn, said his 39 officers would not be issuing $100 citations for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, as required under the ballot initiative known as Question 2.
"If the Legislature enacts some changes, we'll be happy to do it in the future, but as it stands now we're not going to be issuing civil citations," he said. If an officer spots someone smoking marijuana, he said, "We will confiscate it and the person will be sent on their way."
I'm completely at a loss as to why this is a problem. In fact, I have an idea for making things easier for the poor, confused police: Don't even bother confiscating the marijuana. Just leave people the hell alone and go do something useful like trying to track down murders and rapists. Sheesh.