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Thread: Massachusetts Becomes the Fifth State to Legalize Marijuana

  1. #1

    Default Massachusetts Becomes the Fifth State to Legalize Marijuana

    Massachusetts Becomes the Fifth State to Legalize Marijuana
    Passage of Question 4 creates a pot-tolerant foothold in the Northeast.

    Jacob Sullum
    Nov. 8, 2016

    Today voters made Massachusetts the fifth state and the first in the Northeast to legalize marijuana for recreational use. With 65 percent of precincts reporting, the legalization initiative, Question 4, was favored by 53 percent of voters.

    Question 4 eliminates state penalties for adults 21 or older who possess up to an ounce of marijuana in public (currently a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine) or share up to an ounce with other adults. It allows private possession of up to 10 ounces plus whatever is produced by up to six plants per person and 12 plants per household. Those provisions take effect on December 15.

    The initiative creates a Cannabis Control Commission that is charged with licensing and regulating marijuana growers, testing facilities, edible manufacturers, and retailers. The commission is supposed to begin accepting applications for licenses by October 1, 2017, with preference given to operators of medical marijuana dispensaries until January 1, 2018.

    Unlike the legalization initiatives passed in 2012 and 2014, Question 4 allows home delivery of marijuana products. It also breaks new ground by allowing consumption of cannabis on the premises of businesses that sell it, subject to regulation by the state and approval by local voters, while otherwise prohibiting consumption "in a public place."

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  3. #2


    Bump. This is huge. I predict a domino effect in eastern states in the coming years, with either Vermont or New Jersey legalizing next. Will be first state to do so by legislature vote.

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    Trump is going to be president and weed is going to be legal in Massachusetts?
    Did I wake up in an alternate reality?

  5. #4


    marijuana prohibition ends in Massachusetts tonight

    It’s official: Marijuana legal at midnight in Massachusetts

    By Joshua Miller
    DECEMBER 14, 2016

    It was 1911. The New England Watch and Ward Society (née the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice) was battling against drugs and other “special evils.” And in April of that year, the group’s leaders successfully petitioned the Massachusetts Legislature to outlaw possession of several “hypnotic drugs,” including cannabis.

    One hundred five years, seven months and 16 days later — Thursday — marijuana becomes legal again in Massachusetts.

    The Governor’s Council, a Colonial-era body that vets judges and accepts election tabulations, on Wednesday formally certified the results of a ballot question that approved marijuana for recreational use.

    The initiative passed last month with 1.8 million people voting for the measure, despite the opposition of top politicians, the Catholic Church, doctors and business groups, and an array of other civic leaders. About 1.5 million people voted against it.

    Perhaps the loudest voices opposed to the measure came from law enforcement. But on Wednesday, police were learning how to enforce what one top public safety official called “a complex web” of rules for licensed and unlicensed sellers, for those who sell the drug for profit and those who give it away.

    Even as pot remains illegal under federal law, possession, use, and home-growing are now allowed under state law for adults 21 and over.

    But public consumption of the drug remains forbidden in Massachusetts, as do several related activities, such as smoking weed anywhere tobacco smoking is prohibited. It will also be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, though there is no cannabis equivalent in the law to the 0.08 blood-alcohol limit.

    Selling pot, too, remains outlawed until the state treasurer sets up a regulated marketplace and licenses retail stores. The law sets a January 2018 timeframe for pot shops to open, creating a legal gray zone until then — buying up to an ounce of pot from a dealer is legal, but the dealer is breaking the law.

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    Yes, agreed this is yuuuge - although I think it is 9 states now for adult use (recreational)

    Alaska legalized in 2014 but now just starting state framework/legislation for the new billion dollar industry.

  7. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Jan2017 View Post
    Yes, agreed this is yuuuge - although I think it is 9 states now for adult use (recreational)

    Alaska legalized in 2014 but now just starting state framework/legislation for the new billion dollar industry.
    WA, CO, AK, and OR. DC also. Plus now MA. ME, NV, and CA legalized cannabis, but I don't think those laws have gone into effect yet. Heck, there is still a recount happening in ME.

    The Mass law is really pro-liberty upfront in that as soon as it was certified by the government, the non-tax parts went into effect. So you could argue that cannabis is completely decriminalized in Mass now (for up to 10 oz in home or 1 oz almost everywhere else). The ability to buy cannabis for recreational use in Mass is a different story. There will be a commission to decide those details. At least for now, things are good in Mass This isn't entirely surprising since Mass was already known for having the least bad cannabis decriminalization law in the nation.
    Lifetime member of more than 1 national gun organization and the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. Part of Young Americans for Liberty and Campaign for Liberty. Free State Project participant and multi-year Free Talk Live AMPlifier.

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