(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.