Marijuana is classified as a class D controlled substance in Massachusetts, and each state often carries its own set of laws regarding the possession of marijuana. The Worcester criminal defense lawyers at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP possess a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of federal and state laws regarding marijuana.
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Marijuana, also known as weed, dope, herb, and chronic, was decriminalized in Massachusetts in 2008, but this does not mean that the possession of the drug has become legal. Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $100, but the incident is not put on the person’s criminal record. Possession cases where the amount exceeds one ounce, or those that involve intent to distribute or traffic, will still carry harsh legal ramifications.
In 2012, residents in Massachusetts voted in favor of the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative that would allow prescribed patients to possess a supply of marijuana to last them up to 60 days without risk of penalty. Patients with a number of conditions ranging from cancer and AIDS to anxiety and gastrointestinal upset may now, under law, be able to obtain a marijuana card that acts as a prescription to obtain and possess the drug. Medical marijuana is legal for personal at-home use only, however, and only by the person who has the medical marijuana card granted by a qualified doctor.
Marijuana is considered to be a “downer,” or a drug that slows the body down rather than speeding it up. It has many effects on the body including feelings of euphoria, reported pain relief, increased appetite, and uplifted mood. The reports of pain relief and increased appetite are two major reasons that medical marijuana has been legalized in the state of Massachusetts, and those who suffer from various conditions find these effects to benefit their quality of life.
These effects may vary from person to person, and some may experience all of these symptoms while others experience none. For trafficking cases involving 50 pounds or more of marijuana, the penalty includes 2.5 to 15 years in prison as well as a $25,000 fine. In the most extreme cases involving 10,000 pounds of marijuana or more, the penalty includes 8 to 15 years in prison along with fines up to $200,000.
For charges of suspected distribution or an intent to sell marijuana, a person may face up to two years in jail as well as fines between $500 and $5,000. In distribution cases, a person’s past convictions will often dictate the severity of the punishment. The Worcester criminal defense attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP can work hard to build your case and passionately defend you in court.
Call today at (508) 744-3038 for more information.