Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

 

Pot law leaves cops high and dry

Pot law leaves cops high & dry


Many blow off $100 fines

By Edward Mason and Jessica Van Sack     
Thursday, July 16, 2009 
Last Updated July 24, 2009 
Photo
Photo by Herald file

Thumbing their noses at the state’s lax new pot law, Bay State stoners are brazenly lighting up in front of cops and then refusing to pay fines - leading some frustrated police chiefs to all but give up the fight.

Local police report widespread defiance of the six-month-old law, and a Herald review shows a vast majority of potheads cited by cops blowing off their $100 fines.

Some egregious examples of tokers flaunting the law include:

In Arlington, a public works employee was cited by the local police chief for smoking a pot pipe as he stood next to his town-issued tractor.

At bustling Park Street Station, a pair of nonchalant lovers out on the town openly lit up a joint and continued toking even after confronted by off-duty Milton Chief Richard Wells.

In East Boston, four teens spotted in a “smoke-filled vehicle” unabashedly told a cop they were “just smoking marijuana.”

A man caught near a Dorchester playground laughed when police said he faced a $100 fine - and then taunted the cops with an expletive-laced tirade.

All told, a staggering 83 percent of 415 tokers cited in Boston since the law took effect in January have refused to pony up the $100, a Herald review shows.

In Braintree, 15 of 28 citations went unpaid, while in Brookline 26 of 33 blew off the fines.

Somerville Deputy Chief Paul Upton said his officers are now writing few if any citations, in part because enforcing the law costs more money than it’s worth.

“If we send an officer to court, it’s going to cost us $250,” Upton said. “We’re not getting a lot of (citations) written.”

In Milton, Chief Wells said the new pot law is unenforceable because there’s nothing encouraging scofflaws to pay fines or even give their real names to police.

Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless, head of the state prosecutors group that fought against relaxing pot sanctions, said, “It’s exactly what we were afraid of, and what we predicted would happen. They’d issue citations, and they’d be ignored.”

Proponents argued pot convictions made youthful indiscretions into lifelong liabilities. But while unpaid parking tickets can cost drivers their licenses, unpaid pot fines carry no repercussions.

“There’s nothing that can happen,” Capeless said.

Thomas Kiley, the Beacon Hill powerbroker who crafted the measure, insisted the law has teeth.

Tucked in the law is language that places pot possession on par with other citations, and police can haul a scofflaw into court, Kiley said. “We did (anticipate) this,” Kiley said.

But Cheryl A. Sibley, chief administrator for the Boston Municipal Court Department, said police are powerless because that provision is neutralized by language clearly stating the only penalty the offender pays is the $100 fine.

Meanwhile, in Braintree on Monday night, police spotted a suspected perv smoking pot in a car filled with coils of rope, a pair of handcuffs and bottles of NyQuil. But they had to let the man go, even though he was awaiting trial on child sexual assault charges.

Said Deputy Chief Russell Jenkins, “Had the law not been changed, he absolutely would have been placed under arrest.”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1185193


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

Archives

June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe