In November 2008 Massachusetts voters approved Question 2; decriminalizing possession of marijuana in quantities less than one ounce. Those caught in possession of less than an ounce will be leveled a civil fine of $100 dollars per offence.
The new law went into effect 1/1/09; and already there is considerable controversy and confusion:
Michael Levenson reports in The Boston Globe 1/309:
“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.”
“It is frustrating,” he added, “because we have to deal with a law that is almost non-enforceable at best.”
This market will attempt to predict the approximate dollar sum of fines collected during the first year of the law’s existence. The market will close 12/31/09, and payout once a credible report has been cited in the Boston Globe, presumably within a week or two of the New Year, 2010.