It is important to remember that decriminalization of marijuana is not the same as the legalization of marijuana. Decriminalization simply means that Massachusetts has amended its marijuana law(s) to make certain acts illegal, but not subject to prosecution. In other words, Bay State residents in possession of small amounts of marijuana will not be arrested and prosecuted, nor will they be stuck with a criminal record. In numerous states throughout America, possession of small amounts of marijuana is treated like a minor traffic infraction.
Don’t Forget About the Feds
Do keep in mind that federal law supersedes state law. Due to the Controlled Substance Act, federal law does not permit the sale and consumption of marijuana. This means that in those states where marijuana has recently been legalized — Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon — retail businesses cannot use federally regulated banks. This also prevents marijuana businesses from deducting expenses on their federal income taxes.
As the push to legalize marijuana gains momentum — Massachusetts residents are expected to vote on a legalization initiative this fall — the conflict between state and federal law may ultimately be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Contact Thomas Whitney Attorney at Law Now
Thomas Whitney Attorney at Law has been providing Massachusetts residents with committed, effective criminal defense services for more than 39 years. If you have any questions regarding drug crimes in the state of Massachusetts, call Mr. Whitney today at (413) 256-6234.