With more and more states deciding to decriminalize marijuana, it’s no surprise that people are trying to find new opportunities to make money off the drug. In Massachusetts, where possession of marijuana is legal but selling it is not (at least not until 2018), one man believes he has found a loophole.
The man, who according to local news goes by the name Corey Hampton , is selling empty bags on Craigslist with a nice little (and free) gift attached. The free gift? Several grams of marijuana.
While Hampton believes it is legal, Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan disagrees. “The ads are illegal,” Sullivan said. “It’s illegal to sell marijuana in Massachusetts even with the new ballot initiative.” Question 4 (as the ballot initiative is known), allows people over 21 to grow and own small amounts of marijuana. Retail licenses will not be available until at least 2018. Essentially for now you can only sell weed with a license and only to those who are approved to purchase it medically.
The law does allow citizens to gift marijuana up to one ounce, but the gift cannot be advertised publicly. Sullivan plans to ask police to investigate.
Section 7. Personal use of marijuana […] (4) giving away or otherwise transferring without remuneration up to 1 ounce of marijuana…to a person 21 years of age or older, as long as the transfer is not advertised or promoted to the public.” — text of ballot question
Local news outlets that contacted Hampton via text for more information on the sale captured screenshots of his response. Part of the problem, Hampton says, is that “it’s foolish to waste any more of the taxpayers money on a harmless plant that helps people.”
Not every marijuana proponent is on board with Hampton’s actions, however. Jim Borghesani of the “Yes On 4” coalition believes that sales should only be conducted in a safe, legal manner to protect the consumers. “You need to have somebody who is actually a licensed seller who checks IDs [and] who operates in a licensed facility sell the product,” said Borghesani. “I think it comes down to public safety and — frankly—consumer protection.”
While the legality of Hampton’s “gift bags” are being debated, it will not be shocking if more people attempt weed workarounds of their own.