(WBUR) Recreational marijuana is becoming legal in Massachusetts — legal, but not readily available.
The ballot question approved by voters Nov. 8 is scheduled to go into effect Thursday, allowing adults to have limited quantities of marijuana for recreational purposes and grow pot plants in their homes. The catch: It’s still illegal to sell marijuana in Massachusetts – except to registered medical marijuana patients – and will remain so for at least a year until the first pot shops are licensed and regulated.
What Is Legal?
- Outside the home, adults 21 or over can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana.
- Inside the home, adults 21 or over may possess up to 10 ounces of pot. A single individual may cultivate up to 6 marijuana plants for personal use, and up to 12 plants per household are allowed if more than one adult lives on the premises.
- It’s OK for one adult to give away up to an ounce of pot to another adult, but not for money.
What Isn’t Legal?
- 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.
- Marijuana cannot be possessed, purchased, grown or used by anyone under age 21 (unless they have a valid medical marijuana permit), and it’s against the law to give away pot to someone under 21.
- Using pot is illegal in any public place. You can’t, for example, walk down the street smoking a joint the way you would a cigarette. It’s also illegal to use pot in any place where tobacco is banned.
- Possession of any amount of marijuana remains illegal on school grounds.
- Laws against operating cars and other vehicles under the influence of marijuana are unchanged.