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Massachusetts Reminds Boaters That Marijuana Is Illegal on Waterways

Cannabis Legalization

Yes, marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but not if you take it onto federal waters. Even though Massachusetts is a coastal state, the waters extending from the land are considered federal waterways. Marijuana possession and use on these waterways are illegal.

It doesn’t matter if you own the boat or are renting it, the Cannabis Control Commissions says to leave your marijuana at home, Boston.com reports. If you have boated on the waters off the shores of Massachusetts and have seen Coast Guard patrols, these are federal waters. This includes Boston Harbor, Lake Champlain and up the shoreline to Maine’s Cape Cod National Seashore and Acadia National Park.

Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan said, “The Commission expects adults who choose to consume cannabis in Massachusetts to know the laws, including the federal restrictions that are still in place. If you are planning to take a boat ride this summer in federal waters, leave your cannabis at home.”

Even if you’ve used marijuana prior to going out boating you can still get a DUI.

Flanagan said, “It bears repeating. Never, ever drive a boat when under the influence of cannabis, or ride with a driver who may be at risk of being impaired.”

Fines for simple possession are $500 for a first offense. Repeated offenses carry fines up to $5,000. The Coast Guard says it will continue to enforce prohibition laws on federal waters. The rule applies to commercial and recreational boats.