Two paragraphs were hidden away in this story Malden Council Makes Marijuana Use Punishable by Arrest, like charms in a Christmas pudding. The bulk of the article reports on Malden’s escalating punishment ethos, and a quote from Judge Ireland was included, but got no further comment.
“By mandating that possession of such a small quantity of marijuana become a civil violation, not a crime, the voters intended to treat offenders who possess one ounce or less of marijuana differently from perpetrators of drug crimes,” wrote Chief Justice Roderick Ireland.
“Ferreting out decriminalized conduct with the same fervor associated with the pursuit of serious criminal conduct is neither desired by the public, nor in accord with the plain language of the statute,’’ he wrote later.”
This is very strong language from a judge, and he directs his displeasure at police who are acting in defiance of the will of the voters, also known as the citizenry, also known as their employers. We’re not a police state yet, and the will of the voters still makes a difference, and Judge Ireland is reminding the police of this. This is how the Judicial Branch is supposed to work. Thank you, Judge Ireland.