SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – As the legalization of recreational marijuana was voted in favor by the state of Massachusetts during the Nov. 8 election, people throughout the commonwealth will begin to see the effects of the new law rather shortly.
Starting on Dec. 15, anyone who is 21 years or older will be able to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or give up to an ounce to someone as a gift. Individuals will also be able to have up to 10 ounces in their primary residence. It is also allowed to have six plants in a home per person and 12 plants total per home.
However, based on the ballot measure passed, no marijuana buying or selling transactions among individuals will be legal.
“The only people that can ever sell, will be the retailers,” said Southwick Police Detective Sergeant Robert Landis.
Retail stores for recreational marijuana are not set to be in business until at least January of 2018.
For Landis and the rest of the Southwick Police Department, they have to deal with several things that come with the legalization of marijuana.
Operating under the influence of narcotics is something that could potentially be a law down the road, and certainly a thought that officers and detectives need to look at.
“There’s no standardized testing,” said Landis. “These are things that are going to come down the way.”
Landis then went on to say that the charges of buying or selling marijuana at a place other than a retail store, would not change. It would still be considered a criminal offense.
“It all comes down to the quantities you’re dealing with,” said Landis.
Southwick Police and Det. Landis will continue to follow what happens with the recreational marijuana laws for the state of Massachusetts.