Marijuana was illegal in Massachusetts. But in November 2008 voters of the state voted in favor of decriminalizing the possession of less than 28 grams of marijuana. November 2016 brought another change when voters voted to pass question 4, “The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.’ This voting legalized the possession of recreational marijuana for people over 21 years of age. But the legalization had some limitations. Let’s review some of the limitations.
- You can possess less than one ounce in your purse or pocket.
- You may keep 10 ounces or less in your home. But if you have more than one ounce, it should be secured in a locked container.
- You may grow up to 6 plants for personal use but in a single house you cannot grow more than 12 plants. They should be planted in such a way that they should not be visible from a public place. The cultivation area must remain locked. If you want to cultivate for personal use, you don’t need a permit.
- You may gift it away but only up to an ounce. If it is in the form of marijuana concentrate then you can gift away only 5 grams or less. The gift should only be given to adult over 21 years old. Moreover you are not allowed to advertise the transfer or publicly promote it.
- Marijuana products are also legal under the new act. Marijuana concentrate, skin ointments, tinctures, edible products, drinks and oils are legal. These products can be made for your personal use or gifting away to other adults. You can donate them but you cannot sell them. Selling is not illegal. But it will be after the government establishes a licensing scheme.
- Be careful with keeping marijuana I you car. It is not allowed to keep it in open container. You cannot keep marijuana products in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. You can keep it in your trunk.
Let’s look at the penalties.
- People under 21 years old, if caught with an ounce or less of marijuana, will be punished with a civil fine. They will also be required to complete a drug awareness program.
And if you are arrested on violation of any of the laws, that could be the worst day of your life. One doesn’t understand what to do in this kind of scenario. If you are accused of drug trafficking, it is a serious crime with great penalties. Besides the actual sentence and probationary period you may lose your license and become ineligible for public housing. On this day you need a committed attorney who can stand by your side get you of this mess. But selection of a lawyer is also very important. A crooked and unqualified can ruin your case. He or she can further complicate a simple matter. So, choose wisely. Keren Goldenberg is a ayer criminal defense lawyer. She is an expert in criminal defense.