Saturday, December 5, 2015

Massachusetts Could Legalize in 2016

I was just reading an article over on Leafly about a group called the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and the work its members are doing in Massachusetts.

Apparently they've already collected 100,000 signatures. After they pick through said signatures, some will be determined invalid. If 64,750 of them are valid, the legislature could adopt a measure that essentially legalizes recreational marijuana.

If the Massachusetts legislature chooses the other of two options, it could mean that activists will need to collect 10,792 more signatures by June 2016.

Rebecca Kelley wrote the Leafly article and she seems to think that Massachusetts slowness in implementing its medical marijuana program should lead onlookers to predict that the implementation of a recreational marijuana program will take an equally long time.

However if the legislature adopts, or if the extra signatures are collected, Massachusetts residents could gain the right to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a limited number of plants.

Rebecca pointed to a poll showing the population of Massachusetts very close, with folks preferring legalization (48%) barely outnumbering folks who prefer prohibition (47%).

The initiative put forth by The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol would do more than simply allow adults 21 and older to possess and grow small amounts.

The article on Leafly says the measure would:

establish a regulated system of licensed retail locations, cultivation centers, product manufacturers, and testing facilities; grant local governments the authority to regulate and limit the number of establishments in their city or town; and establish a 3.75% state excise tax on retail cannabis sales (on top of state sales tax) while allowing local governments to implement an additional local sales tax of up to 2%.

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