BOSTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Some police chiefs in Massachusetts say a state law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana is unenforceable.
The law which took effect Friday, calls for police to issue $100 civil citations for possession of an ounce or less, The Boston Globe reported Saturday. The old law made possession of even small amounts punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Dozens of police chiefs say their officers aren't ticketing people they see smoking marijuana because they have no way of establishing their identity, said John M. Collins, general counsel for the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
Previously, officers could threaten people with arrest to force them to show identification. Now they can't force marijuana smokers to show IDs. And they say there is no penalty if a smoker gives a fake name.
"Many of them are saying that until the law gets straightened out, we're not going to let our people waste their time chasing their tails on this," Collins said.