Massachusetts Campaign Submits 100K Signatures

Dec 02, 2015 , , , , , ,


Yesterday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts submitted more than 100,000 signatures to the secretary of state. Only 64,750 signatures are needed, and supporters are confident that the measure will qualify for the 2016 ballot!

Associated Press reports:

The proposal would allow Massachusetts residents 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. It would also create a 3.75 percent state excise tax on retail marijuana sales that would be assessed on top of the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax.

“You don’t want the tax to be too high because then it’s difficult to undercut the black market, and you want the tax to be high enough so you can finance the regulation and have some money left over,” said Will Luzier, campaign director for the group, as he emptied pages of signatures from two Christmas shopping bags at the state elections office.

The Legislature now has until the first week in May to vote on the proposal, but it’s unlikely to win approval from lawmakers given opposition to legalized marijuana from key state officials including Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat.

Senate President Stan Rosenberg said last week he expected voters would ultimately decide the issue. Assuming no action by lawmakers, organizers would need to collect at least 10,792 additional signatures to place the question on the November 2016 ballot.

 


2 responses to “Massachusetts Campaign Submits 100K Signatures”

  1. The lines between the cannabis industry and activism have been blurred, and perhaps even extinguished.

    That’s the reason Dan Riffle gave for quitting the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the largest and most influential cannabis activism groups in the country.

    According to the International Business Times, Riffle, the former federal policy director for MPP, emailed some of his co-workers before he left, saying the “industry is taking over the legalization movement and I’m not interested in the industry.”

    As the Times noted, MPP also last month established a new political campaign “funded by marijuana industry revenues.”

    Riffle, who is now working for Michigan Congressman John Conyers, told the Times that the new campaign fund is a perfect illustration of why he resigned.

    “I felt for the last few months the industry was kind of dominating the legalization movement’s work in general, and MPP’s specifically,” Riffle told the Times.

    That doesn’t mesh with good public policy, Riffle said, because the interests of the industry are financial, whereas those of the public may be strict regulation that cuts into companies’ bottom lines.

  2. The lines between the cannabis industry and activism have been blurred, and perhaps even extinguished.

    That’s the reason Dan Riffle gave for quitting the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the largest and most influential cannabis activism groups in the country.

    According to the International Business Times, Riffle, the former federal policy director for MPP, emailed some of his co-workers before he left, saying the “industry is taking over the legalization movement and I’m not interested in the industry.”

    Thanks, Dan!

    As the Times noted, MPP also last month established a new political campaign “funded by marijuana industry revenues.”

    Riffle, who is now working for Michigan Congressman John Conyers, told the Times that the new campaign fund is a perfect illustration of why he resigned.

    “I felt for the last few months the industry was kind of dominating the legalization movement’s work in general, and MPP’s specifically,” Riffle told the Times.

    That doesn’t mesh with good public policy, Riffle said, because the interests of the industry are financial, whereas those of the public may be strict regulation that cuts into companies’ bottom lines.

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