Everything you need to know about cannabis legalization in Massachusetts

Marijuana Legalization
Marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts this week. Here's everything you need to know.

The day many Massachusetts residents hoped and waited for is finally upon us and it couldn’t have come any sooner. On November 8, Massachusetts residents voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational. Voters approved the measure 53.6 percent to 46.4 percent in favor of legalizing recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and over. There was a lot of opposition, but after countless years of pointless persecution, Massachusetts made history and the majority of voters had the final word.

But before we embark on that ultimate smoke session, there’s still some things we need to consider before lighting up. For example, can you smoke it in public places? Will your employer still require you to take drug tests? Do you get in trouble for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence?

Some of the answers here are pretty obvious, but it’s still important to brush up on all the facts. We outlined some of the most frequently asked questions and broke them down into bullet points below. Again, some of these are no-brainers, but there’s still some facts here that had me surprised, so it’s worth checking them out.

  • It will still be illegal to buy or sell marijuana, or for those under 21 to use it. It is legal, though, to give someone pot for free.
  • Recreational marijuana cannot be sold in any form in Massachusetts without a retail license. A Cannabis Control Commission, yet to be named, will be responsible for issuing retail licenses.
  • It will also still be illegal to use the drug in public places, so anyone who wants to partake will have to do it at home (assuming one’s landlord approves).
  • It’s also illegal to use pot in any place where tobacco is banned.
  • The law permits you to possess up to ten ounces in your residence, but only one ounce in public.
  • For those hoping to get started growing marijuana, the law allows for 6 plants per person, or 12 plants per household. Also, those plants have to be out of the sight of neighbors (specifically, impossible to see “without the use of binoculars, aircraft or other optical aids”). So, for most people, that means they would have to be indoors.
  • Also, the law on possession inside a car is similar to the one for alcohol. It’s illegal to have an “open container” of marijuana in a vehicle, unless it’s stashed in a trunk or in a locked glove box.
  • By the way, all those elaborate “tobacco” water pipes you might have seen inside stores while marijuana was illegal? As of Thursday, shopkeepers can start calling them bongs.

So there’s a lot to take in here, but for the most part, a lot of this is just common sense. The only question that still remains is if whether your employer or workplace will allow the consumption of marijuana during work hours. It seems, for the most part, it’s not allowed. And if it is, it varies by your employer.

In the end, treat cannabis as if you would treat alcohol and cigarettes. Use your head and don’t be a dummy.

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