Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is a civil offense in Massachusetts, not a crime. Massachusetts citizens voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2008. The current law allows offenders to avoid the negative consequences of a criminal record.
Civil Penalties for Possession of One Ounce or Less of Marijuana
Adults are subject to a $100.00 fine for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana in Massachusetts. The offender must also forfeit their weed.
People under 18 years old are subject to the same penalties as adult offenders as long as they complete a drug awareness program. However, the civil penalty may increase to $1,000 if the juvenile does not complete the drug awareness program within one year of the offense. The underage offender and his or her parents will be held responsible for that amount.
Criminal Penalties for Other Marijuana Offenses
Although possession of a small amount of marijuana is a civil offense, possessing more than one ounce of marijuana is a crime in Massachusetts.
Marijuana trafficking and marijuana possession with the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense the drug is a crime, regardless of the amount of marijuana involved. In other words, a person is subject to serious criminal penalties even if he or she is trafficking or distributing an ounce or less of marijuana.
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