Police don’t need to observe a sale for distribution charge, just individually packaged bags of marijuana – even if it’s under an ounce.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Council ruled Monday that the Bay State’s 2008 voter-approved marijuana decriminalization law did not repeal “possession with intent to distribute,” even if there is no sale and decriminalized amounts of marijuana are involved.
Voters overwhelmingly approved the 2008 ballot question, which made the penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a $100 civil fine, similar to a parking ticket. But decriminalization does not apply if the marijuana is bagged up for sale, even if it weighs less than an ounce, according to today’s ruling.
“We conclude that the passage of [decriminalization] did not repeal the offense of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute where the amount of marijuana possessed is one ounce or less,” Chief Justice Roderick Ireland said in Monday’s ruling. “We also determine that, while the sale of any amount of marijuana remains a criminal offense under [Massachusetts law], a prosecution … is not limited solely to situations where the ‘distribut[ion]‘ involves a sale.”
READ MORE: Massachusetts High Court: Sale Not Necessary for Intent to Distribute
The Daily Chronic, Feb. 13, 2012