Apr 112012
 

massachusetts cannabisMassachusetts Marijuana Policy

Massachusetts is a fairly liberal state when it comes to marijuana laws, which is surprising considering Mitt Romney was in charge for awhile. In a perfect world, marijuana would have no penalties. But marijuana consumers can do a lot worse than the state of Massachusetts. Below are the marijuana laws for Massachusetts, courtesy of Massachusetts NORML:

Decriminalized? — Yes. Less than one ounce is punishable only by a fine of $100, no criminal charges.

Possession of more than 1 oz (first offense) is a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in jail and a $500 fine. The charges will be stricken from the record after completion of probation.

Possession of more than 1 oz (subsequent offenses) is a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in jail and a $500 fine. There is the possibility for probation; however, the charges remain on your record.

Distributing or cultivating less than 50lbs (first offense) is a misdemeanor punishable by 2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Distributing or cultivating 50 to 100lbs is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year but up to 2.5-15 years in prison, and a fine of $500-10,000.

Distributing or cultivating 100 to 2,000lbs is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 3 years but up to 15 years in prison, and a $2,500-25,000 fine.

Distributing or cultivating 2,000 to 10,000lbs is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 5 years but up to 15 years in prison and a $5,000-50,000 fine.

Distributing or cultivating more than 10,000lbs is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 10 years but up to 15 years in prison and a $20,000-200,000 fine.

Distributing or cultivating any amount within 1,000 feet of a school is a felony, punishable by an additional 2 year minimum sentence and a $1,000-10,000 fine, in addition to the related penalties (depending on amount).

Paraphernalia possession is no longer a crime, however it still remains subject to seizure and forfeiture.

Manufacturing or selling paraphernalia is a felony, punishable by 1-2 years in jail and a $500-5,000 fine.

Selling paraphernalia to a minor is a felony, punishable by 3-5 years in prison, and a $1,000-5,000 fine.

The state allows conditional release or diversion for first time prosecutions. After completing probation, the charges are stricken from the offender’s criminal record.

Massachusetts is one of the last states to have a Marijuana Tax Stamp Law. Essentially, in order to possess the marijuana, you have to have a stamp. However, you only get the stamp when you are already in possession of the marijuana, which makes in you in violation. This act is illegal, but until it is challenged, it will remain on the books. A similar law was enacted at the Federal level and later found unconstitutional.

Medical Program? — No.

Want to help bring marijuana reform to Massachusetts? Below are some good places to get started, via our Massachusetts activism page:

Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance
www.masscompassion.org

Massachusetts Norml
http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4543&wtm_view=chapter

Massachusetts Students for Sensible Drug Policy
http://ssdp.org/chapters/northeast/massachusetts

Massachusetts Marijuana Policy Project
http://www.mpp.org/states/massachusetts/

Massachusetts Americans for Safe Access
http://safeaccessnow.org/blog/?p=1151

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.