As a forward step after the voters have decided to decriminalize marijuana, the public safety officials are scrambling to determine how to make that happen. As a part of it, the Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday directed Public Safety Secretary Kevin M. Burke to work with Attorney General Martha Coakley to determine how to implement Question 2, including whether a new mini-bureaucracy is necessary to oversee the doling out of citations to those caught with an ounce or less of pot.
Under the new law, pot is still illegal, but getting caught with up to an ounce of weed is only a civil infraction. The penalty isn’t jail, but a $100 fine. And if the offender is under 18, a drug awareness course and parental notification are required.
However, officials have yet to figure out how much money the new measure could cost, though advocates argue it will save money associated with marijuana arrests. Also unanswered is how cops will determine the weight of the weed in question.