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Concerns And Opportunity As Marijuana Becomes Legal In Massachusetts

BOSTON (CBS) - Marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, but there are still questions about how the budding business will be handled by law enforcement and regulated by the state.

Adults 21 and over can legally possess up to 10 ounces of pot, 6 marijuana plants per person, and up to 12 plants per household.

For some, the law has created opportunity. GYO Stuff, a hydroponics store in Cambridge, is offering marijuana seeds for free as sales are not allowed in the state until 2018.

Police, on the other hand, are concerned about enforcement. Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael says the legalization of marijuana will initially drive users to the black market.

"As of midnight tonight, marijuana is going to be legal but there's going to be nowhere to get it," Carmichael said. "The only way that you're going to be able to access this drug is through the black market."

He also argues there is no standard to properly enforce of prosecute drugged driving.

"We're going to have to deal with this problem with arrest," Carmichael said.

The City of Boston reminded residents about the new regulations that take effect statewide on Thursday, December 15:

Possession of Marijuana

  • Adults may carry up to one ounce of marijuana in public. Five grams of that may be a marijuana concentrate.
  • Adults cannot have more than ten ounces of marijuana in their residence.

Growing Marijuana

  • Each resident in the state can grow up to six plants, but there can be no more than 12 plants in a household. Adults must grow plants in their primary residence in a locked or secured location.
  • Plants cannot be visible from a public space without the use of binoculars, an aircraft or other visual aids.

Medical Marijuana

  • The new law will not affect medical marijuana.
  • Medical marijuana is a separate program overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Smoking in Boston

  • Residents and visitors cannot smoke in public parks in Boston. This includes marijuana and tobacco.
  • "No smoking" means residents cannot inhale, exhale, burn or carry any cigarette, cigar, pipe or vaporized substance.

Additional Restrictions

  • The marijuana law prevents adults from consuming marijuana in a public place where smoking tobacco is prohibited. The law allows for a fine of up to $100 for each offense.
  • Under the law, "marijuana products" include: edible products and beverages, topical products and ointments, and oils and tinctures.
  • Under the law, resident cannot have an open container of marijuana or marijuana products in their motor vehicle. Offenders can be fined up to $500 for each offense.
  • "Open container" means a package of marijuana or marijuana products with a broken seal, or with some of the contents removed. Residents must keep an open container in a locked glove compartment or trunk.
  • The new law doesn't change the existing state laws for operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. It's still illegal, and subject to the same fines and penalties.
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