On Nov. 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters passed Question 4, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana (Recreational Use Law). The Recreational Use Law follows passage of a 2012 Massachusetts ballot question which legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. Please see our previous May 15, 2013 GT Alert, What Does the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act Mean for Employers?, which summarizes the impact of the Recreational Use Law on employment practices and policies.
The stated purpose of the Recreational Use Law, officially titled “The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act,” is “to control the production and distribution of marijuana under a system that licenses, regulates and taxes the businesses involved in a manner similar to alcohol and to make marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age or older.” Accordingly, the law makes it legal for adults to possess, use, and cultivate marijuana within certain limits. Marijuana use is, however, forbidden in public places or in any other location where smoking is prohibited.