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SJC: Sharing Marijuana Cigarette Not a Crime


By JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled that sharing a marijuana cigarette isn’t a crime, but growing even small amounts of the drug is still illegal.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Friday released decisions in four cases, all involving arrests after voters in 2008 approved a law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

In one case, a man was arrested at the annual Hempfest on Boston Common sharing marijuana. The state argued the man was distributing the drug, but the court said social sharing of small amounts of marijuana can’t be considered distribution.

In a separate case, a man was arrested after police found him growing less than an ounce’s worth of marijuana plants. The court rejected the man’s argument that he shouldn’t have been charged, saying the new law decriminalized marijuana possession, not cultivation.

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