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Marijuana Becomes Legal in Massachusetts

Voters in Massachusetts have changed state law, allowing residents to use pot for recreational purposes.

The Hill reports:

Massachusetts residents can now legally possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes, after the state certified results from November’s elections.

Bay State voters passed Question 4, the ballot measure that legalized marijuana, by a seven-point margin in November. On Wednesday, the Governor’s Council certified those results, meaning the new law takes effect Thursday.

Only parts of the new law, including provisions allowing residents to grow as many as six marijuana plants at their own homes, will take effect right away.

Marijuana sales remain against the law and will be for about a year as the state Treasurer’s office sets up rules and regulations governing everything from licenses for pot sales to packaging labels and employment requirements.

Technically it is legal to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana until those new regulations go into effect next year. But selling marijuana is illegal, meaning dealers could still be arrested.

Massachusetts was one of four states that legalized marijuana for recreational use in November. Voters in California, Maine and Nevada also approved ballot measures making pot legal. Voters in Arizona rejected a similar measure by a narrow margin.

Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012. Two years later, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., followed suit. The Republican-led Congress has forced the District of Columbia to delay full implementation of its legal marijuana regime.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

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