The Boston Herald is reporting today:
“Potheads who’ve found the grass is greener under the state’s mellowed-out marijuana law have racked up as much as $64,500 in unpaid fines in Boston alone, thumbing their noses at hundreds of citations that cops have written up, but authorities are powerless to enforce.”
Is this really a surprise? The Herald further reports:
“Of the more than 760 $100 fines written up in Boston this year as of Nov. 4, police list 645 as unpaid with no way of accounting if any were cleared up at courts or by drop-ins to City Hall, a Herald review found.”
If this new law was supposed to raise money for the state, it has obviously failed.
The Herald points out the problem:
“Cheryl Sibley, chief administrator of Boston Municipal Court, said there is “very limited recourse” for the courts to force payment if potheads don’t request a hearing to fight the ticket and police don’t seek a civil contempt hearing to enforce it.”
Meanwhile, the other side of the story:
“But Bill Downing, director of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, insists the new right to toke should not have a price tag.
“”There’s this concept called freedom. The people of Massachusetts voted to tell the cops to leave these people alone. If they don’t pay their tickets, who cares? What, are you going to float city and town budgets on the backs of the pot-smoking public?””
I have two comments on this. If cigarette smokers pay excessive taxes on their cigarettes, why shouldn’t pot smokers pay to smoke? Also, no one has caused a car accident because they were driving under the influence of tobacco, can pot smokers say the same?