Massachusetts Lawmakers Delay Regulation of Marijuana

Dec 29, 2016

massachusetts-flagMassachusetts lawmakers passed a measure Wednesday that would delay the full implementation of Question 4, the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol, which voters approved in November.

The Boston Globe reports:

It took less than an hour, and only about a half-dozen state legislators, to approve a bill that would overturn significant parts of a marijuana legalization law that 1.8 million voters approved just last month.

With no public hearings and no formal public notice, the few lawmakers on Beacon Hill passed a measure on Wednesday to delay the likely opening date for recreational marijuana stores in Massachusetts by half a year — from January to July 2018.

The move was met with criticism from Question 4 supporters, who pointed out that Colorado lawmakers were able to effectively implement a similar initiative in a timeframe that is similar to the one stipulated in Question 4.

The Yes on 4 campaign issued the following statement:

We are very disappointed that the Legislature has decided to alter Question 4 in an informal session with little notice regarding proposed changes. We are willing to consider technical changes to Question 4 so that the new law is implemented in a timely and responsible manner. However, our position remains that the measure was written with careful consideration regarding process and timelines and that no major Legislative revisions are necessary. Further, the voters of Massachusetts approved Question 4 by a significant margin, and any alteration of the law deserves a transparent, deliberative legislative process.

As MPP’s Mason Tvert pointed out, the reasoning behind the delay is not particularly sound.

“The Legislature has a responsibility to implement the will of the voters while also protecting public health and public safety,” [Senate President Stanley] Rosenberg said. “This short delay will allow the necessary time for the Legislature to work with stakeholders on improving the new law.”

But Mason Tvert, a national advocate for legalization at the Marijuana Policy Project, scoffed at the premise of the Senate president’s statement.

“The will of the voters was to protect public health and public safety by regulating marijuana,” Tvert said. “By delaying the regulation of marijuana, lawmakers are delaying the protection of public health and public safety.”

Question 4 officially took effect earlier this month, at which time it became legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

5 responses to “Massachusetts Lawmakers Delay Regulation of Marijuana”

  1. This has nothing to do with improvement of the law IN section 1 of bill number 2524 by the prohibitionist sen Lewis he striking out its says inserting ” shall not include the growing ,cultivation , ect of cannabis ” and move on to further delay the dates of every [point in the petition , the governor said he would do the will of the people but now will sign this bill into law . allowing the police to continue to arrest everyone …
    sen Lewis has forsake the will of the people his oath to that cause and should be impeach asap
    Lewis also introduce this bill when everyone was out of the state house and with his cronies criminals who want prohibition continue place this bill in and voted in without quorum even in house
    this is man who need to be jailed

  2. Lewis is a snake been agaist the petition used every means to lying and faults information Lewis is infected obsess with the petition and war on cannabis in our state republic Lewis brain is fried with the disorder and disease of idealism in prohibition , Lewis is no more competent then the lies he has spread thoughout the republic in a campaign to lie to voters Lewis has continue to attack the petition and its freedoms even to oppose a higher taxation then given , claiming a study must be done which is foolish , Lewis is hated The people voice is being ignoring , The will of the people ignored , hes crying wolf and acting like the snake he is Not aboutto allowing people to grow there own cannabis is not end of prohibition . plan b is to impeach his bunch ASAP

  3. With little to no knowledge of the topic. It seems as a stalling technique. The powers that be never thought the initiative would pass. When the initiative did pass, the powers that be were dumbfounded. As with any “fight” brute force has dramatic effect, but patients, well timed and strategic response to the force, will prevail. Change is most difficult in the beginning. Stay the course, the universe shall provide, and some other cliché that works here. Ultimately right is right! The people have spoken, now, the official elected to appease the people and speak to the hire powers must come up with a solution to satisfy both sides. The administration doesn’t want to loose federal funding. They also don’t want civil unrest. I wouldn’t want to be in that hot seat. Admittedly this is a fight, not just for Massachusetts, but for our entire country. We are citizens of this wonderful Nation! We deserve to be heard, respected, and taken seriously! Mass. is way further than Va. I hope to one day be able to have even the hope we can enjoy our beloved cannabis without ridicule, embarrassment, or fear of being arrested. Mass. has crossed a giant hurtle. God Bless!!

    • There is something you can do ? please inform everyone you know and pass it on
      first you take the S 2524 and copy it then rewrite the bill to counteract everything back to its place then you asked your rep to file it , Please understand this : SEn Lewis is a prohibitionist he scale the bill on a time matter and he added 40 A section 3 to not allow anyone to grow cannabis which the press has not stated This is though zoning law and would be 300 + fine and you would lose all your cannabis , so if everyone will file a counteractive bill with there reps / sen this wold cause a lot of delay and time more then the house or sen could bear > so this would be great way to protest the matter

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