Legal Resources for Drug Laws

Changes in Mandatory Minimum Sentences:

On August 3, 2012, the “Three Strikes Law” came into effect in Massachusetts and the drug laws were changed. As part of that law, some mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases (possession with intent to distribute, distribution, trafficking) were changed and reduced:

 

Law Changed

Change from Previous Statute to New Statute

G.L. c. 94C, §32(b)One or more prior convictions—Class A controlled substances, unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to manufacture, etc. Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 5 to3.5 years. (Section 12 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32A(b)One or more prior convictions—Class B controlled substances, unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to manufacture, etc. Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 3 to2 years. (Section 13 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32A(d)One or more prior convictions—Phencyclidine, cocaine, methamphetamine, unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to manufacture, etc. Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 5 to3.5 years. (Section 14 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32B(b)One or more prior convictions—Class C controlled substances, unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to manufacture, etc. Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 2years to 18 months. (Sections 15-16 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(a)(2)Trafficking in marihuana, 100 to 2,000lbs Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 3 to2 years. (Section 17 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(a)(3)Trafficking in marihuana, 2,000 to 10,000lbs Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 5 to3.5 years. (Section 18 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(a)(4)Trafficking in marihuana, 10,000+lbs Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 10to 8 years. (Section 19 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(b)(1)Trafficking in cocaine or phenmetrazine, 18 to 36g Weights increased from 14 grams or more but less than 28 grams to 18 grams of more but less than 36 grams. The mandatory minimum sentence is lowered from 3 to 2 years. (Section 21 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(b)(2)Trafficking in cocaine or phenmetrazine, 36 to 100g Weights increased from 28 grams or more, but less than 100 grams to 36 grams or more, but less than 100 grams. The mandatory minimum sentence is lowered from 5 to 3.5 years. (Section 21 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(b)(3)Trafficking in cocaine or phenmetrazine, 100 to 200g Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 10to 8 years. (Section 22 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(b)(4)Trafficking in cocaine or phenmetrazine, 200+g Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 15to 12 years. (Section 23 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(1)Trafficking in heroin, morphine, or opium, 18 to 36g Weights increased from 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams to 18 grams or more, but less than 36 grams. The mandatory minimum sentence is lowered to from 5 to 3.5 years. (Section 25 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(2)Trafficking in heroin, morphine, or opium, 36 to 100g Weights increased from 28 grams or more, but less than 100 grams to 36 grams or more, but less than 100 grams. The mandatory minimum sentence lowered to from 7 to 5 years. (Section 25 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(3)Trafficking in heroin, morphine, or opium, 100 to 200g Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 10to 8 years. (Section 26 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(4)Trafficking in heroin, morphine, or opium, 200+g Mandatory minimum sentence lowered from 15to 12 years. (Section 27 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §32JControlled substances violations in, on, or near school property Reduces school zone to from 1000 feet to 300 feet and restricts penalty to violations that take place between 5am and 12midnight. (Sections 30-31 of Act)
G.L. c. 94C, §34A (New section)Medical amnesty for possession of particular controlled substances, including heroin and marihuana Exempts people from being charged with or prosecuted for possession for seeking medical assistance for a drug-related overdose for certain controlled substances – Referred to as Good Samaritan Act. (Section 32 of Act)