The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 8, 2009

Article 32:

Marijuana fine dropped

Attendees of Monday night’s Town Meeting staying through to the last of the Warrant items to have their say on the proposed new marijuana fine may have left disappointed. The Board of Selectmen decided not to move the Article just prior to the meeting, based on the recommendation of Police Chief John Sullivan, according to Town Administrator Madonna Mackenzie.

“I decided that it was in the best interests of Carlisle to wait it out,” said Sullivan referring to the great uncertainty across the state on process issues relating to the decriminalization of marijuana last year. Sullivan reported that the Middlesex District Attorney, Attorney General and police chiefs across the state are still “scrambling” to figure out enforcement. He recounted attending an inordinate number of meetings on the subject, and said he had never seen anything like this law change to cause so much discussion.

Nonetheless, marijuana possession is still illegal, and offenders with an ounce or less will still face a $100 fine in Carlisle. The proposed Article would have increased the fine to $300 for public consumption of marijuana in town.

“We don’t anticipate much of a problem in Carlisle,” said Sullivan. He had proposed the increased fine last February to the Selectmen in order to get it on the Warrant in time for this year’s vote. However, based on the uncertainty and inconsistency with other communities, he recommended removal of the item from this year’s Town Meeting Warrant. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito