Should Massachusetts Lawmakers Legalize Recreational Marijuana?

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Legalizing recreational marijuana in Massachusetts would generate at least $50 million annually in tax revenue, according to one survey.

By Jason Claffey

State lawmakers recently proposed legislation that would legalize marijuana for recreational use in Massachusetts.

The state approved medical marijuana in 2012.

Since 2012, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., have approved recreational marijuana.

“The time has long since come to take a more realistic approach to marijuana in our society.,” said State Rep. David Rogers, D-Cambridge, and State Sen. Patricia Jehlen, D-Somerville, in a statement. “Forcing marijuana into the underground market ensures authorities have no control of the product. Regulating marijuana would allow the product to be sold safely and responsibly by legitimate businesses in appropriate locations.”

Rogers and Jehlen in January presented legislation that would allow anyone who’s at least 21 years old to purchase marijuana. It would also allow “cannabis cafes” where food and drinks—but not alcohol—could be served.

Legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts would generate at least $50 million in tax revenue, according to one survey. Groups are organizing for a possible voter referendum in 2016 if state lawmakers don’t approve legalization this year. Efforts are underway in Vermont and Maine to legalize marijuana by 2016, too.

One opponent of legalization in the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.

“We have seen the detrimental effects it has on families, especially youth,” said A. Wayne Sampson, the organization’s executive director, said in an interview last year with the Boston Globe.


VIA The Boston Globe

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