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NATIONAL BRIEFING / MASSACHUSETTS

Law may apply beyond marijuana

December 30, 2008|times wire reports

Guidelines for a new state law that ends minor marijuana arrests say the law may also apply to other drugs with the same psychoactive ingredient, such as hashish.

The guidelines obtained by the Associated Press say the law that takes effect Friday ends criminal penalties for possession of an ounce or less of THC -- the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, hashish or hash oil.

Voters passed a referendum in November that instead imposes a civil penalty of a $100 fine and forfeiture of the drug.

The guidelines from the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security advise law enforcement agencies on the law's practical enforcement, but courts eventually are expected to have to settle questions on its scope.

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