The new law (Establishing A Sensible State Marijuana Policy, St. 2008, Chapter 387) went into effect on January 2, 2009. This law, along with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C, Sections 31, 32L-32N, and 34, creates the following new approach to responding to persons in possession of one ounce or less of marijuana:
Possession of marijuana is still illegal for persons under 21. However, this law now allows persons under 21 found with an ounce or less of marijuana to be fined $100.00 rather than being penalized by arrest. Any person, under the age of 18, found to be in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana will also be required to attend drug-awareness classes.
Any person found with more than an ounce of marijuana may be arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and/or possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. A conviction for either offense carries a sentence of up to two years in jail.
After receiving a marijuana citation, violators must either pay the fine within 21 days to their city or town clerk or request a civil hearing in front of a magistrate judge.
The marijuana will be confiscated.