"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.
...The ballot question passed in November with 65 percent of the vote. Backers said they were frustrated that possession of small amounts of marijuana in Massachusetts was a criminal offense, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Those convicted of possession could also receive a criminal record that could taint their job prospects for years, the backers said. Under the ballot measure that took effect yesterday, possession of an ounce or less is a civil violation, punishable by a $100 fine, with no risk of a criminal record."
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