Let’s say you lived in a northeastern blue state, were feeling stressed about the direction the country is heading in, and craved some “herbal” remedies to help you relax. No need to buy that plane ticket to Colorado! Relief is now just a short drive away.
As of midnight last night, weed is now legal in the state of Massachusetts. The legalization goes into effect thanks to a referendum on the November ballot that passed with 53% of voters’ support. It’s now one of eight states to legalize marijuana.
A lot of state leaders are not happy with the voters’ choices, including most lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker. The Boston Globe reported that a member of the group that is supposed to certify laws in the state gave a speech saying that she could not in good conscience go along with what was happening. But that has no legal bearing on what happens. The people have spoken, and what they said was “we want to get high.”
Before you start scrounging up change for the Mass Turnpike tollbooths, you should know the law has some restrictions. Possession is now legal, but selling weed is a different story. The state has until January 2018 to figure out how it’s going to license the sale of marijuana, and when it does it will come with an additional 3.75–5.75% tax, depending on the city.
Until the state puts its regulations in place, the only legal way to acquire marijuana is by growing it yourself. The law allows for six plants per person to be grown, with a maximum of 12 in a single house.
And once you have acquired your joint through entirely legal means (thank you very much, officer), you have to be careful about where you smoke. Public consumption of the drug is still illegal in any form, as is smoking it anywhere where regular cigarettes are not allowed. Other restrictions include not driving while high, not possessing more than an ounce in public, and not having more than 10 ounces in your home.
Judging by social media though, Massachusetts is ready to go to pot.