By Louisa Moller, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, but there are still questions about how the budding business will be handled by law enforcement and regulated by the state.

Adults 21 and over can legally possess up to 10 ounces of pot, 6 marijuana plants per person, and up to 12 plants per household.

For some, the law has created opportunity. GYO Stuff, a hydroponics store in Cambridge, is offering marijuana seeds for free as sales are not allowed in the state until 2018.

Police, on the other hand, are concerned about enforcement. Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael says the legalization of marijuana will initially drive users to the black market.

“As of midnight tonight, marijuana is going to be legal but there’s going to be nowhere to get it,” Carmichael said. “The only way that you’re going to be able to access this drug is through the black market.”

He also argues there is no standard to properly enforce of prosecute drugged driving.

“We’re going to have to deal with this problem with arrest,” Carmichael said.

The City of Boston reminded residents about the new regulations that take effect statewide on Thursday, December 15:

Possession of Marijuana

  • Adults may carry up to one ounce of marijuana in public. Five grams of that may be a marijuana concentrate.
  • Adults cannot have more than ten ounces of marijuana in their residence.

Growing Marijuana

  • Each resident in the state can grow up to six plants, but there can be no more than 12 plants in a household. Adults must grow plants in their primary residence in a locked or secured location.
  • Plants cannot be visible from a public space without the use of binoculars, an aircraft or other visual aids.

Medical Marijuana

  • The new law will not affect medical marijuana.
  • Medical marijuana is a separate program overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Smoking in Boston

  • Residents and visitors cannot smoke in public parks in Boston. This includes marijuana and tobacco.
  • “No smoking” means residents cannot inhale, exhale, burn or carry any cigarette, cigar, pipe or vaporized substance.

Additional Restrictions

  • The marijuana law prevents adults from consuming marijuana in a public place where smoking tobacco is prohibited. The law allows for a fine of up to $100 for each offense.
  • Under the law, “marijuana products” include: edible products and beverages, topical products and ointments, and oils and tinctures.
  • Under the law, resident cannot have an open container of marijuana or marijuana products in their motor vehicle. Offenders can be fined up to $500 for each offense.
  • “Open container” means a package of marijuana or marijuana products with a broken seal, or with some of the contents removed. Residents must keep an open container in a locked glove compartment or trunk.
  • The new law doesn’t change the existing state laws for operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. It’s still illegal, and subject to the same fines and penalties.
Comments (11)
  1. Oh no! Law enforcement can’t arrest people for a plant which is far safer than tobacco, alcohol, OTC, and prescription pharmaceuticals. Whatever shall we do? Grow up Carmichael. You’re embarrassing yourself with last century’s Reefer Madness rhetoric. Plant those seeds and make Massachusetts green again.

  2. I am 60 and have been consuming cannabis off and on since my late teens (over 42 years). I’m a husband, father, electronics engineer, community volunteer, musician and successful business owner. I never drink alcoholic beverages or use tobacco products. I vaporize cannabis (no smoke, no smell, no problems) in the evening after work or on weekends. I am in excellent health, my memory is perfect and I run 20-30 miles per week and finished my 2nd Marathon May 22, 2016 in 3 hrs, 35 mins. I am just one of millions of health conscious Americans seeking the least harmful buzz. How long do we have to suffer the lies and ridiculous nonsense from a government whose own data at the CDC shows cannabis nearly harmless by comparison to prescription drugs, tobacco and booze??

  3. Lawmakers MISSED THE BOAT. They should have left edibles OFF the law. So BJY, how do you tell if a driver was in a fatality accident if the driver was impaired by pot?

    1. Marijuana prohibitionists are doing and saying everything and anything possible to make cannabis look bad. They nit pick every possible aspect of cannabis consumption in an effort to stop legalization. Even so, there is no real statistically significant data in the crime logs year to year about cannabis and auto accidents by comparison to serial killers prescription drugs and alcohol. All automobile accidents with fatalities require full spectrum blood toxicology for all the involved drivers. If cannabis use did cause large numbers of driving incidents we would see it in the news and the statistical data and we do not. To the best of my knowledge ( I have checked thoroughly), not a single police agency in the US even keeps statistics for fatal accident caused “solely by cannabis intoxication”. Every police agency in the nation shows ever increasing numbers where alcohol and pharmaceuticals are cited for traffic deaths.

      I am completely against anyone driving intoxicated on anything and support severe penalties for intoxicated drivers, but the silly “OMG cannabis users are going to start driving and cause a rash of accidents” argument is just more reefer madness nonsense and has absolutely no basis in actual crime statistics!

      Legalize, regulate and TAX!

    2. Jimmy Perry says:

      The Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk report, produced by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found that while drunken driving dramatically increased the risk of getting into an accident, there was no evidence that using marijuana heightened that risk. In fact, after adjusting for age, gender, race and alcohol use, the report found that stoned drivers were no more likely to crash than drivers who were not intoxicated at all.

Leave a Reply