Clerk Magistrate declines to issue complaint for Possession of Class C substance

A clerk magistrate in Ayer District Court declined to issue a complaint against my client, who is under 21, and had been caught at school in possession of a vape pen with a hash oil cartridge. The police department had applied for a criminal complaint against him for possession of a Class C substance.

The Massachusetts Controlled Substances Schedule classifies Marijuana as a Class D drug and Tetrahydrocannabinol as a Class C drug. Case law indicates that hashish and concentrates are meant to be prosecuted as Tetrahydrocannabinol, using the penalties for Class C drugs.

The current law in Massachusetts for minors in possession of marijuana is found in General Law chapter 32C section 34L. Under this statute, a minor caught with less than two ounces of marijuana faces a civil penalty of $100 and forfeiture of their marijuana. I showed the clerk that the statute explicitly states that it applies to both marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol. The police department was incorrect in their belief that a minor possessing under 2 ounces of hash oil is a crime and the complaint did not issue