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Some Mass. towns give up on marijuana enforcement

The current law carries a civil fine of $100 for those caught with an ounce or less

By Lyle Moran
Associated Press

BOSTON — Some Massachusetts towns have given up enforcing the law that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying the law doesn't give them the means to enforce it.

The law established a new civil fine of $100 for those caught with an ounce or less of marijuana.

That replaced what had been a criminal offense carrying a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine, also for possession of an ounce or less of the drug.

But it does not require offenders identify themselves or face consequences for unpaid fines.

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association says the gaps in the law have led to a patchwork of enforcement — with a number of communities effectively turning a blind eye to personal marijuana use.

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