“The Topsfield [Massachusetts] Police Department has issued 292 civil citations for possession of marijuana under one ounce since the law decriminalizing the amount went into effect in January 2009, earning the town a total of $23,786. The bulk of the citations have been issued at motor vehicle stops, and many are issued in parking areas at the Topsfield Fair, say police officials.
The number of citations given out has steadily increased since 2009 when 68 were first issued. In 2010, 74 citations were handed out and in 2011, 87 citations were issued. So far in 2012, 63 citations have been given to people in possession of marijuana.
“I think what’s happening is the youth now know the penalty isn’t as strict as minor in possession [of alcohol] and they’re reverting to smoking marijuana,” commented Detective Sergeant Gary Hayward.
The $100 civil fine has no bearing on anything else, much like a civil citation for parking.
The citations have been issued to Topsfield residents as well as out-of-towners, according to Hayward and Chief of Police Evan Haglund. Upon receiving a citation, offenders have the option to pay the fine or contest the allegation. Hayward and Haglund are not aware of anyone who has contested the citation in Topsfield since the law went into effect.
Once the citation is paid it goes directly to the town’s general fund, so essentially marijuana offenders are helping to lower taxes in Topsfield.”
There’s more to the story and you can find it HERE.
[image: Google images Massachusetts]