Massachusetts to Hold Marijuana Legalization Hearings April 24

Massachusetts to Hold Marijuana Legalization Hearings April 24

BOSTON, MA —  A bill to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in Massachusetts has been scheduled for a key committee hearing next week on Beacon Hill.

Public testimony on the bill, House Bill 1632, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, introduced by Ellen Story (D-Amherst), will be heard by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on Thursday, April 24 at 1:30 pm.

If passed, the bill would legalize marijuana for adults 21 or older, and establish a tax on the cannabis industry in Massachusetts.  Taxes would be established at a rate of $10 per 1% of THC per ounce.

House Bill 1632 would regulate the commercial cultivation, processing, and retail of marijuana to adults over the age of 21.

Massachusetts is one of a growing number of states where lawmakers are considering marijuana legalization, and Bay State voters have long favored marijuana reform in polls and at the voting booth.

In 2008, Massachusetts voters approved ballot Question 2, which decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, replacing jail time with a $100 fine.   Four years later, in 2012, voters again went to the ballot box in favor of further marijuana reform, this time authorizing medical marijuana in the state by passing ballot Question 3.  Both initiatives passed with over 60% approval state wide.

Marijuana activists in Massachusetts have targeted a ballot campaign in 2016 to place a question to legalize marijuana on the ballot, and are optimistic that it will pass, unless the state legislature acts sooner on their own.

Recent polls have found more than half of Massachusetts voters favor of marijuana legalization in the state.

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  • Edo Edo

    I hope that the self serving testimony of established law enforcement will have less of an impact in Massachusetts than they had in the recent proceedings in Rhode Island. All police arguments aside, it should not be lost upon the politicians that they have to answer directly to voters, while law enforcement does not…

    • Mike

      It also the case that this nation supposedly has a tradition of civilian control over its military and paramilitary forces. So why do legislators so often allow law enforcement to hold a veto over whether or not a law get passed? Beats me. Asking the cops to “Mother may I….” is the sort of thing that goes on in dictatorships, not democracies. The police should be taking orders from the legislators, not giving them directives on how they want the people’s laws to read.

      • Edo Edo

        It’s often because they are all part of the same “club”. Their leaders all work in the same cities (state capitals), socialize in the same circles, receive the same superior benefits, and all share some level of superiority of position over most other people. It’s a matter of familiarity more than anything else. Who are lawmakers more likely to to listen to during hearings like this? Some stranger whose testimony would make you work harder through the drafting of new bills/regulations, or your buddy, whose testimony will let you keep your head down and life easier by advocating the status quo?
        Politicians only feel the need to answer to their real bosses when their jobs are suddenly on the line. It’s why the most meaningful political issues get argued and accomplished in the year or so before an election. This is why the cannabis issue will be brought up in at least half of the states in the year leading up to their next gubernatorial elections – and why it will come up in the national primaries (and likely general election) in 2016. It’s exactly what happened with marriage equality over the previous four years…

    • Dr Pop

      Law enforcement will always oppose vigorously as Civil forfeiture (legally sanctioned grand larceny) is a cash cow for them…

  • Vape Escape

    That is the stupidest tax system ever. What we’re gonna go is ensure the continuation of the black market and make pricing and tax laws so incredibly complicated that it will not pass.

    Keep fucking that chicken because the people will vote for legalization that fits them, not the naysayers.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Did that tax plan have to get heroin dealer approved?
    It will add hundreds of dollars to the cost of an ounce, guaranteeing the heroin pushers a long and prosperous future, peddling black market marijuana to kids.

  • Livedeadman

    They appointed a Joint Commission” HAAA!

    • thedailychronic

      In Massachusetts, all committees that are comprised of members of both the House and the Senate are referred to as a ‘Joint Committee’

  • CannaCurtis

    From MA, living in Colorado and employed in the cannabis industry since 2009, Im proud of Colorado for allowing adults safe access to cannabis. IMO it is a long overdue basic human right. It’s bringing a ton of revenue and tourists to our State and allows me to purchase cannabis in a professional, licensed, monitored retail environment. Currently we pay a 2%city tax plus a 7%state tax and an additional 10% marijuana tax. However with the passing of Amendment 64 we forfeited our right to “taxation without representation” so at any time the State may increase the camnabis tax without taxpayers vote. Furthermore the money derived from cannabis sales was promoted as going to go to Colorado’s education system but after reaching $40 million w/in the first quarter the cash is now being filtered to law enforcement, so read your bill through, politics are deceivingly dirty. To tax cannabis on a sliding scale would require standardized testing of THC. Furthermore I wouldn’t buy dirt weed from a retail outlet anyway. I continue to push this industry to raise the bar! The days of shwag are over. Exercise your right to legally access beautiful, sparkling organic buds that are effective in helping you manage the day. When you feel good you’re happy; when you’re happy you’re pleasant. When you’re pleasant, people share your smile. So educate yourself on the Laws and live in comfort and Peace! We all deserve it.

  • masstaxpayer

    if i was charged over $200 in taxes on a single ounce of medium-grade (20%) MJ i would never buy it and i would continue to use black market, this doesn’t even make sense and totally defeats the purpose of legalization which is to drive people away from the black market. Tax it the same as every other product (cigarettes, alcohol etc..) because it is the same as every other product. who is using my tax dollars writing up and voting on such an ignorant and closeminded law?

  • ishere

    Cops wouldn’t stop and ask a useless question such as “where did you get that weed from” when it would be legal for you or any of your friends to grow it yourself.