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Selling Under an Ounce of Marijuana

Contact Attorney Jason Chan

Attorney Jason Chan

267 North Beacon Street, Suite 3
Boston MA 01235


Phone: 781-343-1DUI (781-343-1384)
Fax: 617-226-7986

Most of us know by now that the law on marijuana possession has changed.  If you possess less than an ounce of marijuana for personal use it is now a civil offense.  The voters of Massachusetts wanted to decriminalize the use of marijuana and did so through a referendum. If a person is caught with less than an ounce of marijuana that is deemed personal use, then the person faces a fine and must attend a class. 

jointThe new law of decriminalizing an ounce of marijuana for personal use has not solved all the questions revolving marijuana and the law.  For one, what if a person has less than an ounce of marijuana, but the police believe that the person was trying to sell that marijuana? 

This question of selling marijuana which is usually charged as possession with intent to distribute a class D substance of less than an ounce was an open question.  The Supreme Judicial Court or SJC reviewed the case and found that even though a person could not be prosecuted criminally for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, the SJC found that a person could be charged for trying to less than an ounce of marijuana. 

The SJC reasoned that the voters of Massachusetts wanted to decriminalize the possession of marijuana through the referendum.  The SJC refused to recognize that Massachusetts voters also wanted to decriminalize the sale of less than an ounce of marijuana.  There are many questions that the SJC has yet to clarify when it comes to marijuana.  First, what constitutes as a sale or possession with intent to distribute.  And Second, what are the factors that a police officer can use to say that a person was trying to sell the marijuana verses having it for personal use.  


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