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How does Massachusetts' recreational marijuana law impact you?

As you likely already know, recreational marijuana became legal in Massachusetts two years ago. This does not mean, however, that you can possess or use any amount of marijuana you wish anywhere you wish.

Per the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you can and cannot do certain things, including the following:

  • You can carry one ounce or less of marijuana on your person.
  • You can have 10 ounces or less in your home.
  • You can grow six or fewer marijuana plants in your home, which increases to a maximum of 12 plants if one or more other adults live with you.
  • You cannot carry an open container of marijuana in the passenger area of your vehicle; you must carry it in a closed container locked in your glove compartment or trunk.
  • You cannot drive while under the influence of marijuana.
  • Your city, town, employer and/or landlord can set their own marijuana policies by which you must abide.

OUI penalties regarding marijuana

Massachusetts has a “lifetime look back” provision regarding both drugs and alcohol. This means that should officers arrest you for alleged OUI based on marijuana, the court can review your lifetime driving record to see if you have ever received one or more prior convictions for this crime. If so, your new conviction becomes your next higher-numbered conviction.

Even a first-time marijuana OUI conviction carries stiff penalties, including the following:

  • Maximum jail sentence of 2-1/2 years
  • Probation for up to two years, including the requirement to pay a $65 monthly probation supervision fee
  • A fine ranging from $500 to $5,000
  • Driver’s license suspension for a maximum of one year

If under the age of 21, you will lose your driver’s license for a mandatory 210 days, with the possibility of an additional 180 days as well.

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J. W. Carney, Jr. & Associates
20 Park Plaza
Suite 1405
Boston, MA 02116

Phone: 617-830-6760
Fax: 617-338-5587
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