Portions of Question 4 have officially taken effect in Massachusetts. This means that it is now legal for everyone in the state who is 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis, or up to 10 ounces at a private residence.
Those 21+ can also legally grow up to six plants for personal use.
Cannabis retail outlets were also legalized under Question 4, but aren’t expected to be open until sometime in 2018.
On November 8th Massachusetts voters approved Question 4 to legalize cannabis. Tonight at midnight, as it becomes December 15th, a huge part of that initiative takes effect.
Once it hits midnight, it will immediately become legal for everyone 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis; if at a private residence they can possess up to 10 ounces. They can also grow up to six plants.
At this point there is no legal outlet for those in the state to obtain cannabis, until the legal cannabis market is up and running (sometime next year). However, if somebody is already in possession of cannabis, or finds a way to obtain it, it won’t be legal for them to retain possession and consume it.
In less than a week – on December 15th – the possession and cultivation of cannabis will be legal for everyone 21 and older in Massachusetts.
Under the new law, it’s legal for those 21+ to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis; when at a private residence the limit is raised to 10 ounces. The 10 ounce cap is the most progressive possession limit of any cannabis legalization law passed in the United States.
The new law also allows for the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants. Cannabis retail outlets are also allowed under Question 4 (approved by voters last month); however, they aren’t expected to be open until sometime in 2018.
In a massive victory for cannabis, eight of nine statewide cannabis initiatives were victorious in this year’s election. Four of these measures legalize cannabis for all uses for those 21 and older. This doubles the number of legal cannabis states across the U.S. from four to eight.
Now that these measures have been passed, many may be wondering when they take effect. Below is a look at the four recreational cannabis measures, and when they become law:
Massachusetts Voters Have Legalized Cannabis Through the Passage of Question 4
Voters in Massachusetts have passed Question 4 to legalize cannabis. Massachusetts is now the 5th state in the U.S. to end cannabis prohibition, following Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon.
Once Question 4 takes effect, cannabis will be legal for all uses for those 21 and older. This includes the possession of up to an ounce, and the cultivation of up to six plants. A regulated system of licensed cannabis retail outlets is also authorized under the measure.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston have donated $850,000 to the primary campaign opposed to Massachusetts Question 4, which would legalize cannabis for those 21 and older. The donation is a last-minute effort to defeat the popular measure, which is supported by a plurality of voters according to recent polling.
The church’s contribution represents a roughly 50% increase in the total donations made to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, reports the Boston Globe. Archdiocesan officials have also sent materials to parishes as well as schools arguing against Question 4.
The Boston Globe has officially endorsed Question 4 to legalize recreational cannabis. The Globe is the most circulated newspaper in Massachusetts, and one of the top 15 most circulated papers in the entire United States.
“The opponents of Question 4, which would legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, have inadvertently provided the best reason to vote for the measure”, starts the Globe’sendorsement letter. “Those opponents include virtually every elected official and law enforcement officer in the state, from Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey on down, and their lockstep opposition (with the lonely exception of Senate President Stanley Rosenberg) sends a clear message that Beacon Hill will not legalize marijuana on its own, no matter how little popular support prohibition may have.”
As you’ve probably heard by now, there are nine cannabis legalization initiatives up for a vote this November; five that would legalize cannabis for all uses – for those 21 and older – and four that would legalize cannabis for medical purposes. Below is a link to the full text of these initiative’s, for those wanting to know the full details of each proposal.
Recreational Cannabis Initiatives:
Nevada: For the full text of Question 2 click here.
California: For the full text of Proposition 64 click here.
Maine: For the full text of Question 1, click here.
Massachusetts: For the full text of Question 4, click here.
Arizona: For the full text of Proposition 205, click here.
There are five states voting to legalize recreational cannabis this November; Nevada, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and California. Out of all of these states, Massachusetts’ proposal is the most progressive in terms of its possession limits.
The initiatives up for vote in each of the five states (which we detail here) are all quite similar; they all allow the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, the personal cultivation of a small number of plants, and they all legalize state-licensed retail outlets. However, Massachusetts takes things a step further by allowing those 21 and older to possess up to 10 ounces in a private residence. Although it isn’t allowed to take that amount in public, the fact that the limit is 10 times higher than the amount allowed in most other legalization states is nothing to scoff at, and its passage would be a clear indication that voters are willing to accept the legalization of more than just one ounce.
This November Massachusetts voters will be given the option of passing Question 4, The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, which would allow adults to possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis, cultivate up to six plants for personal use, and would establish a system of state-licensed retail outlets and cultivation centers. Now, not long after the measure officially qualified for the November ballot, a large group of state legislators have endorsed the initiative.
Those endorsing the initiative include; Senators Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and Pat Jehlen (D-Cambridge), as well as Representatives David Rogers (D-Cambridge), Marjorie C Decker (D-Cambridge), Tom Sannicandro (D-Framingham), Michael Moran (D-Brighton), Jay Livingstone (D-Boston), Brian Mannal (D-Centerville) and Mary Keefe (D-Worcester).