The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

BHA Hearing Decision: Marijuana Possession/Termination Reversed

Date: 
01/05/2016
Author: 
Andrew Gouldson, BHA

In this BHA proposed termination decision, the hearing officer determined:

  • Multiple baggies in a bag with an ounce of marijuana is not grounds to find intent to distribute.
  • Federal law still prohibits possession of marijuana, but the fact that MA has decriminalized an ounce or less demonstrates community standards.
  • Head of household's ignorance of son's activities and having osteoporosis and likely becoming homeless if housing is terminated are sufficient mitigating circumstances to overcome possession of an ounce.
  • Because the court dismissed intent to distribute based on an illegal search means there was no crime of intent to distribute, despite bag full of baggies. 
  • No corroboration of intent to distribute such that there could be finding of fact as to that in absence of conviction.
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