General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 94C Controlled Substances Act - Section 32N Possession of one ounce or less of marihuana; enforcement consistent with non-criminal disposition provisions of Sec. 21D of Chapter 40; duty of police department; notice; failure to file certificate of completion of drug awareness program

Section 32N. The police department serving each political subdivision of the Commonwealth shall enforce Section 32L in a manner consistent with the non-criminal disposition provisions of Section 21D of Chapter 40 of the General Laws, as modified in this Section.

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 drug awareness programs pursuant to Section 32M of this Chapter and the Clerk-Magistrate’s office of the District 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.

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 an offender under the age of eighteen, a parent or legal guardian fails to file with the Clerk of the appropriate Court a certificate that the offender has completed a drug awareness program in accordance with Section 32M within one year of the relevant offense, the Clerk shall notify the offender, parent or guardian and the enforcing person who issued the original notice to the offender of a hearing to show cause why the civil penalty should not be increased to one thousand dollars. Factors to be considered in weighing cause shall be limited to financial capacity to pay any increase, the offender’s ability to participate in a compliant drug awareness program and the availability of a suitable drug awareness program. 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.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015