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Everything You Need To Know About The Legalization Of Marijuana In Massachusetts (But Were Afraid To Ask)

Dec 15, 2016 11:48AM ● By Bill Gilman
Thanks to a referendum vote by Massachusetts voters last month, it is now legal to possess and smoke marijuana -- sort of.
The new law is complicated, a bit confusing, and won't fully take effect until 2018.
But for now, here is everything you need to know about the new marijuana law (but were afraid to ask).
1. If you are under the age of 21, you can stop reading. The new law does NOT apply to you. It is still illegal for you to use or possess marijuana under any circumstances.
2. If you are 21 or over, you may smoke marijuana in a private dwelling. Landlords can ban smoking inside their buildings, but they can't prevent residents from consuming edibles or other smokeless versions of marijuana.
3. Citizens can grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use in their home with a maximum of 12 per household. If the plants are grown outside they cannot be in plain view and must be secured.
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4. Citizens can possess up to one ounce of marijuana in public and up to 10 ounces in their home. But nine of those ounces must be safely secured and locked up. Violations are punishable by a $100 fine and forfeiture of the weed.
5. Seeds, plants, or up to 1 ounce of marijuana flower can be given to another person for free.
6. BUT, It will not be legal to SELL marijuana until dispensary licenses start to be issued in 2018. Marijuana stores would be allowed in every city and town unless voters in the municipality approve a local ban. Existing medical marijuana dispensaries will have first preference. Licenses will be issued by the new Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).
7. The tax on marijuana would be 12 percent, of which 6.25 percent would be the state sales tax and 3.75 percent of that would be a new excise tax used to fund the CCC 
8. When marijuana is sold in stores,
 marijuana would be sold in childproof packaging.
9. On the other hand, as of today, stores CAN
 legally sell smoking paraphernalia (pipes, vaporizers, etc.) for the express purpose of consuming marijuana, 
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. HOWEVER, in a 2013 memo, the Department of Justice said marijuana distribution through a strong state regulatory system is a "relatively lower priority " for federal law enforcement officials.
11. It is illegal to operate any vehicle under the influence of marijuana.
12. Attached to this story as a PDF Document is the complete memo written by Gov. Charlie Baker to Col. Richard McKeon of the Massachusetts State Police regarding the new marijuana law.
Al Fresca Ristorante



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