In Massachusetts Marijuana Is Now Legal
Congratulations Massachusetts! Today, December 15th, 2016 is an exciting day, a voter-approved law has taken effect in Massachusetts, allowing people 21 and over to possess, grow and use limited amounts of recreational pot.
Its estimated it will be about a year before marijuana can be legally sold by licensed retailers in the state, some residents of Massachusetts are wary that officials might seek changes to the law or, as a last-ditch effort, delay its full implementation over the coming months.
Saunders, a board member of NORML, gathered with other activists outside the historic Massachusetts Statehouse to celebrate the law.
“Ultimately, we are moving toward taking the existing marijuana market in Massachusetts and bringing it above board,” he said.
Massachusetts is the first U.S. state on the East coast where recreational marijuana is legal. Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska all have recreational marijuana on the books and dispensaries up and running. Voters in California and Nevada also approved ballot measures last month but have yet to set up shop.
The new marijuana law in Massachusetts allows adults to possess up to an ounce of cannabis outside the home, up to 10 ounces inside the home and grow up to twelve marijuana plants per household. Having spent nearly three decades crusading for relaxed marijuana rules, Bill Downing admitted to a mix of satisfaction and trepidation.
“I am both celebrating and worrying that the law might not be implemented properly,” said Downing, member liaison for the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition.
Charlie Baker, the Republican Gov. promised a review and possible changes to the law, which passed by more than 240,000 votes out of nearly 3.8 million votes cast. He strongly opposed the bill but also pledged that the will of the voters will be respected. But he cited “ambiguities” in the law and said legitimate concerns had been raised about public health and safety.
In a memo sent Wednesday to police departments in Massachusetts, Secretary of Public Safety Daniel Bennett said implementation of recreational marijuana “will create a complex web of different rules” that law enforcement must navigate.
“Within certain limits, the new law authorizes some conduct that had previously been prohibited. Beyond those limits, however, possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana remain illegal under state law,” wrote Bennett.
Source: ABC News