But it wasn't always this way.
Believe it or not, Massachusetts sits in the unenviable position of being the first state to criminalize marijuana use in 1911 by requiring a prescription for the purchase of Indian hemp. Many states followed over the next two decades amid sweeping prohibition trends that culminated in the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which banned the drug nationwide.
It wasn't until almost 100 years later that Massachusetts marijuana laws were amended with the passing of the Massachusetts Sensible Marijuana Policy Initiative, also known as Question 2, on November 4, 2008. The law, which was supported by 63 percent of voters, made the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis a civil infraction that carried just a $100 fine, down from $500 and up to six months in jail previously.
In 2012, Massachusetts voters approved Question 3, or the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative, which created the legal framework for the Massachusetts medical marijuana program. Under certain conditions, medical marijuana patients could now legally use, possess, and cultivate marijuana, as well as purchase marijuana from one of 35 state-regulated, non-profit dispensaries.
Learn more about marijuana in Massachusetts
That said, while weed is legal according to Massachusetts marijuana laws, it is not legal to consume cannabis in public, including in parks, sidewalks, or public roads.