Massachusetts Marijuana Trafficking Laws

Can You Mail Weed Legally in Massachusetts?

No. It is illegal to send or receive marijuana through the mail in Massachusetts. Mailing weed across state lines is also a punishable offense. Marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance according to Section 812 of Title 21 of the US Code. Therefore, persons mailing cannabis out of Massachusetts commit a felony even if the two states legally recognize marijuana use.

The United States Postal Service is a government entity governed by federal law and does not allow customers to mail weed. Third-party carriers like FedEx or UPS are also subject to federal law and may refuse to dispatch any parcels they suspect to contain illegal items. These companies also reserve the right to inform law enforcement agencies about the parcel, the sender, or the recipient.

What Are the Penalties for Transporting Edibles Across State Lines in Massachusetts?

Transporting edibles across state lines in Massachusetts is a federal crime classified as a felony. If convicted, offenders may face up to five years in jail and a possible fine of $250,000.00. The penalty may be more severe in cases involving larger quantities or repeated offenses.

Edibles, known as marijuana-infused products (MIPs), are foods or drinks that contain marijuana in some form. Marijuana-infused products can be ingested rather than vaporized or smoked. Edibles often have no smell that indicates they contain marijuana.

Apart from the appeal of eating food mixed with marijuana for the effects of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) — the major psychedelic in cannabis that causes intoxication — edibles are also a potentially healthier alternative for people who choose not to smoke. Also, doctors may prescribe edibles to qualified patients who require medicinal marijuana.

How to Get a Drug Trafficking Charge Dismissed in Massachusetts

Drug trafficking charges in Massachusetts are much more severe than charges involving illegal drug possession. Offenders are charged with drug trafficking crimes if found transporting, importing, or distributing controlled substances like heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. Since it is a felony offense, individuals convicted of marijuana trafficking in Massachusetts may face lengthy jail sentences and hefty fines. To get drug trafficking charges dismissed, offenders may use one or more of the following defenses:

  • A weed trafficking case may be dismissed in a Massachusetts court if the defense proves that law enforcement made an error. This involves providing evidence showing that the intention was not to distribute or manufacture the drugs illegally.
  • Illegal searches conducted by the arresting officer may be enough to get charges dismissed in Massachusetts. If law enforcers searched without the appropriate warrant or the individual’s consent, a judge may consider the evidence illegal and dismiss the case.
  • A Massachusetts judge may dismiss a marijuana trafficking case if the evidence presented is inadequate. Law enforcers must provide enough proof to sustain a drug trafficking charge.
  • It is possible to get a drug trafficking case dismissed if the court finds that the arresting officer violated the offender's rights or skipped reading the Miranda Rights. The defense can either argue that the officer did not advise them of their rights, or that the accused was tricked into admitting guilt because they had no attorney present.
  • An alternative way to get a drug trafficking case dismissed is to opt for a pre-trial diversion program in Massachusetts. However, programs like the Essex Drug Diversion Program are only for persons involved in non-violent crimes. To qualify, individuals charged with drug-related offenses must have clean criminal records and should not be caught with large amounts of cannabis. Eligible offenders must participate in drug education courses, community service, and drug treatments. Successful completion of the program will result in dismissal.

Drug Trafficking Facts in Massachusetts

According to Section 31, Chapter 94C of the Massachusetts General Laws, all controlled substances fall under these five classifications:

  • Class A (i.e., Heroin, Fentanyl, etc.)
  • Class B (i.e., Cocaine)
  • Class C (i.e., Diazepam, amphetamines, etc.)
  • Class D (i.e., Marijuana)
  • Class E (i.e., Steroids)

Individuals are accused of drug trafficking in Massachusetts if they possess a specific quantity of these controlled drugs with the intent to distribute or dispense them. Apart from possession, drug trafficking also involves manufacturing or cultivating a specific amount of a controlled substance. For instance, marijuana trafficking is a felony-level crime if the offender possesses more than 50 pounds and intends to distribute or dispense it. Since marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, offenders with lower amounts of cannabis and clean criminal histories often face lesser penalties.

The Massachusetts State Police is the state’s agency responsible for enforcing drug trafficking laws. On the other hand, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) monitors all illegal interstate drug transportation. According to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, more than 10,000 drug-related crimes were recorded in Massachusetts in 2021.

How Many Grams of Weed Is Considered Trafficking in Massachusetts?

MGL Chapter 94C Section 32E outlines the stipulated amount of weed, cocaine, heroin, and other controlled substances considered as drug trafficking. The law defines marijuana trafficking as trafficking at least 50 pounds, and prescribes penalties for offenders trafficking larger amounts. Trafficking heroin, cocaine, and other controlled substances under Class A begins at 18 grams. For fentanyl, the law states that possessing, manufacturing, or distributing more than 10 grams of fentanyl is considered drug trafficking.

What Are the Weed Trafficking Consequences in Massachusetts?

Generally, the penalties for weed trafficking depend on the amount of cannabis found and the offender’s location. Individuals who traffic between 50 pounds and 100 pounds of weed may face a one-year minimum sentence and a fine between $1,000.00 and $10,000.00. Depending on the offender's criminal history, the jail sentence may be as high as two and a half years but not more than 15 years.

Marijuana trafficking above 100 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds attracts a fine between $2,500.00 and $25,000.00. The jail sentence for possessing above 100 pounds of weed is a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 15 years. Possession of up to 10,000 pounds of cannabis carries a three-year mandatory jail sentence with a fine between $5,000.00 and $50,000.00. Offenders carrying more than 10,000 pounds will face up to eight years in jail and a possible fine of $200,000.00.

According to MGL Chapter 94C, Section 32J, there are stiffer penalties for distributing weed close to school zones, including preschools, child care centers, alternative education programs, and secondary schools. Selling any amount of cannabis within 300 feet of any designated school zone attracts a minimum 2-year jail sentence. Other drug trafficking penalties in Massachusetts include:

  • Three and a half years mandatory minimum sentence for manufacturing or distributing up to 18 grams of heroin
  • Five years for more than 18 grams of heroin
  • Three to five years for trafficking up to 14 grams of cocaine
  • More than ten years jail time for over 100 grams of cocaine
  • Up to five years in jail for possessing more than 10 grams of fentanyl

How to Transport Weed Legally in Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents above 21 years old can only transport the legal amount of weed within the state. Non-residents moving around with weed must carry a government-issued ID card. Also, it is important to keep the marijuana products enclosed or concealed when transporting within Massachusetts.

Registered marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts provide marijuana products to purchasers in sealed containers or bags. When in public, purchasers are expected to keep the products in sealed containers inside a car or luggage. More importantly, purchasers should keep the cannabis out of sight and out of reach when they are in the company of children or pets.

Registered marijuana dispensaries (RMDs) can transport weed legally in Massachusetts by following the Cannabis Control Commission guidelines. The licensed RMDs can employ dispensary agents to help transport marijuana products within the state and deliver them to qualified buyers. Also, the marijuana products in transit must be sealed, packaged, and well-documented by dispensary agents.

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Massachusetts Marijuana Trafficking Laws