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Here’s what you can — and cannot — do when pot becomes legal Thursday

Marijuana was measured at a dispenary in Portland, Ore. Retail marijuana sales won’t begin in Mass. until January 2018.JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images/File

Despite earlier fears of a delay, marijuana will be legalized in Massachusetts on Thursday, Dec. 15. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to stroll into a store and purchase the drug.

Here’s a look at what you can and can’t do on Dec. 15.

What you CAN do:

Possess marijuana

Massachusetts residents will be able to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in their primary residence and grow up to 12 plants per household.

Buy accessories

Marijuana accessories — bongs, pipes, growing lamps, etc. — will be legal for purchase and sale on Thursday. Accessories are defined by the ballot measure as equipment, products, and devices of any kind that are intended or designed for use in growing, storing, processing, ingesting, and inhaling marijuana.


What you CANNOT do:

Sell marijuana

Retail stores won’t be able to start selling marijuana for recreational use until January 2018. And lawmakers are discussing delaying that date to allow more time to create a regulatory framework for the new industry.

Possess, grow, or use marijuana if you are under the age of 21

Like alcohol, Massachusetts’ legalization law only applies to those 21 and over.

Drive under the influence of marijuana

Current Massachusetts law, which prohibits operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana, is not affected by the ballot measure legalizing marijuana.

Smoke marijuana or consume edibles in your dorm (probably)

Colleges and universities will have the right to ban pot on their campuses. And they probably will.

Smoke marijuana or consume edibles in public

Just as it’s illegal in Mass. to consume alcohol in public, it will continue to be illegal to consume marijuana in public places.

Similarly, you can’t have an open container or package in your car

Open packages must be kept in a trunk or locked glove compartment.

Smoke marijuana where smoking is prohibited


You won’t be able to light up a joint in a bar or restaurant, or anywhere else where smoking tobacco is not allowed.

Joshua Miller of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.