If You Got ‘Em: Marijuana Will Be Legal December 15

The votes will be certified in time after all.

medical marijuana massachusetts sm

Photo via iStock.com/smileitsmiccheeze

Looks like marijuana advocates worried that the new legal pot law wouldn’t start on time can exhale after all.

Secretary of State William Galvin now says that votes from the November election will be certified in time for the new law to take effect on December 15, the start date outlined in the ballot question voters approved 53 to 46. A spokesman for his office tells the State House News Service that the Governor’s Council will not, as some had feared, have to delay final approval until after the New Year. They plan to take up the votes when they meet on Wednesday. Lawmakers as late as this week were not ruling out a delay.

“We’re very happy that he certification was done in time to honor the will of the voters,” says Jim Borghesani, the former spokesman for the pro-marijuana Yes on 4 campaign.

This is only the beginning, of course. There are rumblings on Beacon Hill about pushing back deadlines for the state to draft the new regulations that will come with the law, which could mean a delayed start to the upcoming legal marijuana industry. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, a few reminders for anyone planning to toke up on the inaugural day of legal weed:

  • It will still be illegal to buy or sell marijuana, or for those under 21 to use it. It is legal, though, to give someone pot for free.
  • It will also still be illegal to use the drug in public places, so anyone who wants to partake will have to do it at home (assuming one’s landlord approves).
  • The law permits you to possess up to ten ounces in your residence, but only one ounce in public.
  • For those hoping to get started growing marijuana, the law allows for 6 plants per person, or 12 plants per household. Also, those plants have to be out of the sight of neighbors (specifically, impossible to see “without the use of binoculars, aircraft or other optical aids”). So, for most people, that means they would have to be indoors.
  • Also, the law on possession inside a car is similar to the one for alcohol. It’s illegal to have an “open container” of marijuana in a vehicle, unless it’s stashed in a trunk or in a locked glove box.
  • By the way, all those elaborate “tobacco” water pipes you might have seen inside stores while marijuana was illegal? As of Thursday, shopkeepers can start calling them bongs.

Have more questions? You can read the full text of the law here.