Anthony M. Salerno

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Anthony M. Salerno

Attorney At Law

When is marijuana still illegal in Massachusetts?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2020 | Criminal Defense

You may be aware that marijuana has been legalized for personal use in Massachusetts. However, legalization does not mean that everything is permitted, and it is still possible for you to get charged with a criminal offense simply for possessing too much marijuana.

Massachusetts marijuana possession penalties

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law, you are free to have up to 1 ounce of marijuana on your person in public. Within your home, you can have up to 10 ounces.

If you are caught with more than an ounce outside of your home, however, police may charge you with a misdemeanor offense. If it is your first offense, you may be subject to a fine of up to $500 with a maximum jail sentence of six months. Any possession offenses after your first one could result in a fine of up to $2,000, and you could spend up to two years in jail.

Distribution of marijuana

Only licensed dispensaries can sell marijuana. Despite this, there is some degree of decriminalization with regards to distribution of amounts less than 50 pounds. If police charge you with distribution of less than 50 pounds, you could be fined thousands of dollars and could go to jail for up to 2.5 years, but typically, this does not count as a felony.

The law is still very tough on people who distribute amounts in excess of 50 pounds. You could be charged with a felony, penalized tens of thousands of dollars and even spend multiple years in prison for such a crime.