The Massachusetts Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol submitted their signatures for validation just over a month ago, and while they waited to find out if all of the needed signatures were valid, they had a couple of court hearings to handle as well. Luckily for those who have been petitioning for months, the courts ruled that if they qualified, they would be able to have their place on the ballot – but the name and ballot summary were going to be rewritten to more accurately reflect the initiative.
The initiative, now known as The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, has officially qualified for the ballot this week – absolutely surpassing their required number of signatures. If the measure passes this November, residents of Massachusetts will legally be able to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to 6 plants in their homes. It also establishes a commercial industry that will be taxed and regulated strictly, in a similar fashion to other states which have already implemented these types of laws.
On top of being qualified for the ballot, the initiative has also gained 10 important endorsement – and each endorsement is from a lawmaker from the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate and includes Sen. Will Brownsberger, Rep. David Rogers, Rep. Marjorie C Decker, Rep. Tom Sannicandro, Sen. Jamie Eldridge, Sen. Pat Jehlen, Rep. Michael Moran, Rep. jay Livingstone, Rep. Brian Mannal and Rep. Mary Keefe.
“Despite decades of current policy, nothing has changed and the time has long since come to take a more realistic approach. By regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana in the Commonwealth we will allow law enforcement to focus on serious crimes, raise substantial revenue, and all but eliminate a dangerous black market.” – Rep. Rogers
With only a few months left to get their message out, it will definitely help the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol to have these endorsements. Even though the lawmakers did not enact these measures themselves, clearly a number of them are in support of what this initiative is trying to do – take things in a new direction that appears to be working in other states.
There have been polls recently showing that 51% of voters are currently opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana in Massachusetts – but this number is very close and will likely go up and down some between now and the election in November. With persistence and the truth, there is plenty of time to try and win over an additional 5-10% or more in order to make the initiative law by the end of this year. Congratulations to those running the campaign so far, but remember there is still a fight ahead to win over the undecided voters.