This December 15, Cannabis will be legal across the state of Massachusetts. However, several things will not be allowed just now.
On November 8, almost 54 percent of voters from this Eastern state voted for the marijuana legalization. Now, according to the new legislation, adults are allowed to possess limited quantities of cannabis for recreational motives and even grow a limited amount of marijuana plants in their personal home.
However, the selling of the marijuana itself is still prohibited. The lawmakers have to define how the Cannabis Control Commission will function in order for the sale to start. This control center is the only agency permitted to grant marijuana licenses to selling shops, and its configuration is not going to happen until 2018.
Basically, right now in Massachusetts, you can smoke marijuana if you already have it.
Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association, and other analysts have said that is not so easy to overcome the transition period. The first months, they explained, are the most confusing not just for the regular citizens but for authorities to.
This opinion is shared by recreational marijuana supporters like Jim Borghesani from the Regulate Mass group. He said that these situations usually are “gray periods,” especially the first year or so. Borghesani stated in an interview that other states that legalized cannabis in the past years had overcome through the forced transition without bigger issues.
“For the average citizen this is going to mean they have to wait a while until they can go into a store or facility and purchase marijuana over the counter,” said Martin W. Healy.
What can and can’t be done
According to the President of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, William Brooks III, the new legislation doesn’t have major changes regarding the possession of cannabis. He explained that any adult could carry low amounts of cannabis outside the home without that being illegal. That legislation has been valid since the year 2008, so the new one doesn’t represent a “big change”.
However, the possibility for citizens to grow marijuana plants in their homes does translate to a problem concerning law enforcement officers. Police officials now have to be very careful when determining the amount of cannabis that a person is growing in their personal space, and if that amount is within legal limits. The local police department is also worried about motorists driving under the influence of marijuana.
What would be legal?
There is a body of things a Mass. citizen will be allowed to do since this Thursday. Any person above 21 years old can carry 1 ounce of marijuana outside their home. Also, any person above 21 years old can grow a total of 6 marijuana plants in their personal space and for their personal use. It is forbidden the cultivation of more than 12 plants per home, and this 12 plant limit it´s only valid if the home is being used by two adults as a residence.
On the same matter, a person can possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana inside their home and can give 1 ounce to another adult if there is not any money transaction involved.
What would remain illegal?
The most important thing that citizens have to pay attention to, is that commercialization of cannabis is not yet permitted under any concept, excepting those stores in which medical cannabis distribution is regulated by the government. Until the Cannabis Control Commission is not formed, (until 2018), there will not be any store allowed to sell the substance.
Also, any person below 21 years old cannot possess, purchase or grow any type of cannabis, at least the person has a valid permit for the usage of medical marijuana. On the same note, is illegal to give any amount of marijuana to any person below 21 years old.
The legislation regarding marijuana consumption in public spaces remains the same, meaning nobody can smoke marijuana in any of them.
The law that forbids cannabis possession in any school ground is the same.
On this matter, there is the situation concerning the Colleges and Universities and how the several directives of every institution will manage the legalization. The most likely thing to happen is for every college to ban marijuana possessing and use. Despite the new legislation permits any citizen above 21 years old to use the drug, distinct academics representatives from several institutions had announced that marijuana intake, even in private spaces, will be penalized.
“The use of marijuana is a violation of the university’s code of student conduct. It will remain so regardless of the outcome of next month’s ballot question. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and universities that receive federal funding, as Northeastern does, must comply with those federal statutes,” said Matt McDonald, a spokesman for Northeastern University back in October, before the election took place.
Regarding the new legislation on marijuana growing, if a person wants to cultivate cannabis this must be done discreetly. Marijuana must not be seen from the streets or any public space. The presence of a security device is required in any marijuana growing area.
Finally, since marijuana is still illegal under the federal law, any type or amount of it cannot be sell or sent through any state line nor be used on any federal property.
Source: Boston Globe