America chose its next president a few weeks ago, and depending on your opinion of Donald Trump, you may be happy with our state’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana. Since we’re set to enter a brave new world, Thomas Whitney Attorney at Law thought it best to examine what this decision means for Massachusetts drug laws.
Eight’s a Crowd
On November 8th, Massachusetts joined Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, California, Nevada and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. According to New York Times, more than 20% of Americans now live in a state in which recreational marijuana use is legal.
Among other things, this means that Bay State residents no longer need to worry about facing arrest and misdemeanor charges for possessing up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana in public (Bay Staters can keep up to 10 ounces in the privacy of their homes). However, those found to be in public possession of more than one ounce of cannabis may be subject to a misdemeanor charge and/or $500 fine.
States’ Rights vs. Federal Law
Keep in mind that federal law supersedes state law. If an overzealous executive branch decides to enforce federal statutes criminalizing marijuana possession, states — particularly those that legalized pot for recreational use — will likely find themselves tangled up in court.
One More Thing
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General, has issued a series of anti-marijuana statements throughout his congressional career, some as recently as last spring. Long blog story short: we would all be wise to employ a wait-and-see approach to cannabis policy in Massachusetts and throughout the United States.
Fighting for You
Thomas Whitney Attorney at Law has been providing Massachusetts residents with committed criminal defense services for more than three decades. If you have any questions regarding drug crimes and/or marijuana legalization in the state of Massachusetts, call Mr. Whitney today at (413) 256-6234.