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The Boston Globe


SJC issues rulings to clarify marijuana law

The state’s highest court Friday stepped into the gray legal area created in 2008 when voters decriminalized the possession of one ounce of marijuana, releasing four rulings aimed at clarifying where police and the public can draw the line between a crime and a civil offense.

In three of the rulings, the Supreme Judicial Court concluded that prosecutions linked to the public consumption of small amounts of marijuana cannot stand because the defendants came to the attention of police due to civil infractions — which are punishable by fines — and not by crimes punished by imprisonment.

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