On the November ballot, Massachusetts voters had the opportunity to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in limited quantities. The voters have spoken, and starting December 15, 2016, it will be legal in Massachusetts for individuals who are over the age of 21 to possess small amounts of marijuana under House Bill 1.561. It will also be legal for residents to grow small amounts of marijuana in their private homes. Users can transport not more than 10 ounces of marijuana, and not more than 10 pounds of marijuana products (i.e., treats, confections, or other consumables).
What Stays the Same
Under the law, smoking marijuana will be treated just the same as smoking tobacco. Users would be able to smoke in public but must do so in accordance with the laws that are imposed on smoking tobacco. Also the legalization of marijuana will have no impact on the state’s DUI laws, and you can still be charged and convicted for driving under the influence of marijuana. People looking to purchase marijuana must buy it from licensed distributors, and must provide a government issued identification card as proof of age when making a purchase.
Not Everything Regarding Marijuana is Legalized
While it will be legal to possess small quantities of marijuana in Massachusetts, there are many activities associated with marijuana that will be illegal. For instance:
- It is illegal for unlicensed individuals to sell marijuana. This includes selling some of your personal supply to friends and family. However, sharing your personal supply of marijuana without an exchange of any consideration is acceptable.
- It is illegal to supply, provide, or sell marijuana to people who are under the age of 21 years old. This means that generally it is also illegal for people under the age of 21 to even hold marijuana for someone who is of age, with limited exception.
- It is illegal to buy marijuana for someone who is under the age of 21.
- It is illegal for people who are under the age of 21 to attempt to purchase marijuana themselves.
- It is also illegal for people who are under the age of twenty one to use a fake identification card to purchase marijuana.
While the laws are changing concerning how Massachusetts handles the possession of marijuana for personal use, there are still a lot of activities associated with marijuana that are illegal. You can still be charged with marijuana-related offenses.
Contact a Massachusetts Drug Crimes Attorney
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense or any other drug offense in Massachusetts, it is important to get into touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.