Off Campus - Know the Law

UMass Amherst is committed to maintaining the health and safety of everyone in our campus community. Although marijuana use is prohibited on-campus due to federal law, the voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a law making it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess and use small amounts of marijuana.The law legalized the following for recreational marijuana cultivation and possession:

 Possession of Marijuana:

  • Individuals 21 years of age or older may possess up to one ounce of marijuana outside one's primary residence. Marijuana concentrate will be similarly legal, but only in quantities of 5 grams or less. 

  • For persons between the age of 18 and 21, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana remains decriminalized, but not fully legalized.

  • Individuals 21 years of age or older may possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana within one's primary residence - If you are a renter, check with your landlord!

 Cultivation of Marijuana:

  • A person 21 years of age or older may grow up to 6 marijuana plants at home per person, and up to 12 marijuana plants per household - If you are a renter, check with your landlord!

 Public Consumption of Marijuana

  • All public consumption of marijuana (other than medical marijuana) is prohibited. Non-public smoking of marijuana is also prohibited in any place where tobacco smoking is prohibited (i.e. private offices, bars, and restaurants.)

 Marijuana in Vehicles

  • The new law prohibits possession of an "open container" of marijuana in the passenger area of a motor vehicle while that vehicle is on a public way, whether the car is or is not moving at the time. 

 Operating Under the Influence

  • Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime as it impairs a driver’s ability and may increase risk of accident.  In order to ensure public safety, police officers will stop drivers who are demonstrating signs of impairment.


Fire Safety in your home/off-campus apartment

Careless use of smoking materials is the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S.  If you are 21 or older and choose to smoke at home, take safety precautions:

  • Be sure you have a working and unobstructed smoke detector on every level of your home.

  • Do not smoke in bed.

  • Never leave smoking materials unattended and be sure that smoking materials are fully extinguished.