Backers of legal pot urge Massachusetts legislators to hold off on changing law

Backers of legal pot urge Massachusetts legislators to hold off on changing law

BOSTON—Backers of legalized recreational marijuana urged Massachusetts legislators Monday to hold off, at least for now, on making any significant changes to a law voters approved in November.The appeal came during the first public hearing held by a special legislative committee formed to review the law, which passed by a 240,000 vote margin and made Massachusetts one of eight states that allow adults to use recreational marijuana.House and Senate leaders have promised to respect the will of the electorate. Yet lawmakers also have angered many marijuana advocates by making clear their willingness to consider a higher tax rate on legal marijuana sales and address other issues, including the ability of local officials to keep pot shops out of their communities; limits on the potency of edible marijuana; and further restrictions on homegrown marijuana, now capped at a dozen pot plants per household.Read more:Canada could thrive from marijuana legalization in U.S. statesThe group that led the ballot initiative, Yes on 4, said the Legislature should take a hands-off approach until a state regulatory board is in place and has a chance to formulate recommendations for lawmakers.Article Continued BelowThat board, known as the Cannabis Control Commission, has yet to be appointed.“In no way are we trying to curtail any of your legislative duties,” insisted Jim Borghesani, spokesman for Yes on 4, when asked pointedly by the committee’s House chairman, Democratic Rep. Mark Cusack, why the panel should defer to regulators.The Legislature already has moved to delay the opening of retail marijuana stores until mid-2018 at the soonest. Among dozens of other marijuana-related bills filed are proposals ranging from minor tweaks to the law to its outright repeal — the latter an extremely unlikely scenario.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>