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Marijuana: Massachusetts Legalization Bill Set for Hearing Next Week

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #603)

Last November, voters in Massachusetts approved an initiative decriminalizing the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Now, one activist is pushing the envelope with a legalization bill. It is set for a hearing next Wednesday at the statehouse.

Get to the State House, Bay Staters
The brainchild of Northampton attorney and former DRCNet and NORML board member Dick Evans, H. 2929 and its companion bill, SB 1801, would regulate the commercial cultivation of marijuana and impose an excise tax. Under the bill, marijuana would be sold by licensed vendors in one-ounce boxes bearing the identity of the grower, the grade, and a tax stamp proving that taxes have been paid. Anyone 21 or older could buy or possess marijuana. Commercial cultivators, processors, distributors, and retailers would all be licensed. The bill permits licensed direct sales from farmers to consumers, and it allows for unlicensed, unregulated non-commercial cultivation.

With no sponsors in the legislature, the bill is unlikely to go anywhere this year. But even getting a hearing on the issue is a step forward.

As Evans told the crowd at a rally earlier this year: "Sooner or later, our country will come to its senses about marijuana, and later is now sooner. With Question 2, Massachusetts voters went to the polls and said enough, enough, enough arrests, we have to decriminalize. Now, we can talk about things we couldn't talk about before, we can talk about the futility of arresting people for marijuana, we can now have a serious discussion about prohibition. The debate has begun, and the burden of proof has shifted; the defenders of prohibition are on the defense. People are starting to look at the tax revenue from tax and regulated marijuana."

And now Evans has provided an opportunity for the legislature to start looking at it, too. He would like to see a lot of people show up for the hearing, he said. "We need to fill up the statehouse with people, so bring yourselves down there, and bring your parents with you," he implored.

The hearing is Wednesday, October 14, at 10:00am in Room B2 at the State House. Click here for directions.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Fireweed (not verified)

I've half a mind to call in sick the day before and start out the night before. If I leave by 6:00 p.m. the night before I can probably get there on time, providing I don't get lost trying to navigate Boston's bowl of spaghetti they call city streets. But nah, I'd have to come up with quite the alibi to pull off a sick leave like that on that short of notice. But would that I could....I'd give anything to testify how 36 years of smoking this stuff has enhanced my life and my health. I'd love more than anything to see it legalized nationwide. Can you imagine having cities like Amsterdam here where on a friday night you couild go to your favorite hangout and mellow out with friends for an evening?

I do think we are reaching a tipping point.

Fri, 10/09/2009 - 8:25pm Permalink

My city, Springfield, added $300 to the $100 fine allowed by the new law, making it a real burden to lower-income people. Not paying a fine leads to default warrants and the criminal charges that this law was meant to avoid. I was hoping the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Reform, would track the local examples, but they haven't. Anyway, beware! All is not as it seems with this law.

Mon, 10/12/2009 - 1:21pm Permalink
borden (not verified)

MassCann has a list posted on their site:

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

Mon, 10/12/2009 - 4:49pm Permalink

Valid medicinal value, it’s a victimless crime, the War on Drugs WAY too costly, too many arrests for simple possession, tax it and use the money to pay for health insurance and to reduce the deficit…Need I say more?

Woodstock Universe supports legalization of Marijuana for a number of reasons. Check them out and vote in our poll "Should marijuana be legalized?" at

Current poll results: 96% for legalization…4% opposed

Peace, love, music, one world,

Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:34pm Permalink

Strictly limit the Cannabis, marijuana, hemp are using in medical purposes but not permit to sale or use freely for ever!
Especially for the young people! Students in the school. The most important is that the government and the legistation should be control the drugs very powerful!
Save the teenages and the youth! Fight and kill the drus illegal dealers!!!

Wed, 10/14/2009 - 2:20am Permalink

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