SECTION 1 Section 32L of General Laws Chapter 94C is amended by striking the first sentence thereof and inserting in place thereof the following sentence, “Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, possession of one ounce or less of marihuana by an offender under 21 years of age to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars and forfeiture of the marihuana, but not to any other form of criminal or civil punishment or disqualification.”
SECTION 2 Section 32L of General Laws Chapter 94C is further amended by striking from the second sentence thereof the words “a drug awareness program which meets the criteria set forth in Section 32M of this Chapter” and inserting in place thereof the following words, “a substance abuse evaluation conducted by a licensed alcohol and drug counselor as defined in section 1 of chapter 111J, and a report of the evaluation shall be provided by the licensed alcohol and drug counselor to the parents or legal guardian and to the offender if over the age of 16, and to the police department that issued the citation. The evaluation shall not be a public record.
SECTION 3 Section 32L of General Laws Chapter 94C is further amended by striking from the third sentence thereof the words, “availability of a drug awareness program” and inserting in place thereof the words, “requirement of a substance abuse evaluation”.
SECTION 4 Section 32L of General Laws Chapter 94C is further amended by striking from the fourth sentence thereof the words, “one year of the offense to complete both a drug awareness program” and inserting in place thereof the words, ninety day of the offense to complete both a substance abuse evaluation”.
SECTION 5 Section 32L of General Laws Chapter 94C is further amended by striking from the first sentence of the third paragraph the word “tetrahydrocannabinol” and inserting in place thereof the words “5 grams of marijuana concentrate as defined in subsection (g) of section 7 of chapter 94G of the General Laws, inserted by section 5 of chapter 334 of the acts of 2016, or a combination thereof equaling one ounce or less”.
SECTION 6 Section 32M of General Laws Chapter 94C is amended by striking the section and inserting the following section, “32M Possession of one ounce or less of marihuana; substance abuse evaluation. An offender under the age of eighteen is required to complete a substance abuse evaluation within ninety days of the offense for possession of one ounce or less of marihuana. In addition to the civil penalties authorized by Section 32L and 32N of this Chapter, the failure of such an offender to complete a substance abuse evaluation shall be a basis for delinquency proceedings for persons under the age of 18 at the time of their offense.
SECTION 7 Section 32N of General Laws Chapter 94C is hereby amended by striking the second paragraph thereof and inserting the following paragraph, “The person in charge of each such department shall direct the department's public safety officer or another appropriate member of the department to function as a liaison between the department and persons providing the substance abuse evaluation programs pursuant to Section 32M of this Chapter and the Clerk-Magistrate's office of the Division of the Juvenile Court serving the political subdivision. The person in charge shall also issue books of non-criminal citation forms to the department's officers which conform with the provisions of this Section and Section 21D of Chapter 40 of the General Laws”.
SECTION 8 Section 32N of General Laws Chapter 94C is hereby further amended by striking the third paragraph and inserting the following, “In addition to the notice requirements set forth in Section 21D of Chapter 40 of the General Laws, a second copy of the notice delivered to an offender under the age of eighteen shall be mailed or delivered to at least one of that offender's parents having custody of the offender, or, where there is no such person, to that offender's legal guardian at said parent or legal guardian's last known address. If within 150 days of the issuance of the citation the police department does not receive a copy of the substance abuse evaluation in accordance with Section 32M the police department shall file a juvenile delinquency complaint against the offender.
SECTION 9 General Laws Chapter 94C is hereby amended by inserting the following Section 32O, Collection of civil penalty. The police department issuing the citation on behalf of the municipality in which the offense occurred, or the municipality shall, if the civil fine is not paid when due, enforce collection of the civil penalty using the procedure authorized by section 21 of chapter 218. The offender in such action shall be deemed to have waived all defenses except sufficiency of the service of the citation and the right of appeal provided in section 23 of chapter 218. The court shall not impose a filing fee for such action. The court shall award the municipality $300 in damages together with interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum from the twenty-first day after the citation issued against persons over the age of 18 and against the parents of a person under the age of 18.
Any civil penalties imposed under the provisions of ''An Act Establishing A Sensible State Marihuana Policy'' shall inure to the city or town where the offense occurred.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.