Marijuana Legalization Bills Filed in Massachusetts, Washington

Legislators in two states on opposite ends of the country have introduced bills that would legalize marijuana. In both cases, the bills are a continuation of legalization efforts that did not reach fruition last year.

Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson
In Washington state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, chair of the Human Services Committee, Tuesday introduced House Bill 1150, which would legalize marijuana for persons 21 and over, provide for regulation and taxation of marijuana commerce, and see pot sold through state liquor stores, with growers licensed by the Liquor Control Board.

"Drug cartels and black-market dealers have made it easier for kids to get cannabis than alcohol," Dickerson said. "The Liquor Control Board has a proven track record of shielding kids from its products. I’m confident our bill will break the back of cannabis crime-syndicate profits and make it possible to preserve vital health services across Washington in these very difficult budget times."

The bill has 13 cosponsors and has been referred to the Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. That's where it died last year.

On the opposite coast, Massachusetts Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst) Monday filed House Docket Number 1091 (H1091 for short), An Act to Regulate and Tax the Cannabis Industry. The bill will be assigned a bill number later.

It would immediately remove all of Massachusetts criminal and civil penalties upon persons over the age of 21 who possess or cultivate marijuana for personal or share it with other adults. It would also set up a system to regulate, license, and tax commercial cultivation, possession, and distribution of marijuana when such regulation is lawful under federal law.

As in Washington, the Massachusetts bill didn't make it through last year. But advocates in both states continue to plug away.

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Yay! I hope it works.

Yay! I hope it works.

This is

a blatant attempt to derail Sensible Washington's legalization initiative.  The initiative simply removes all criminal sanctions from any aspect of cannabis production, transfer and use for those 18 and older, without imposing any taxation or regulation scheme.  The initiative is a much better way to go, for everyone, IMNSHO.

Although it has been many

Although it has been many years since I knew mj she was a friend of mine in my past.  As a young soldier returning from Vietnam she helped me re-enter the real world.  When the memories and nightmares kept me from sleeping, she helped.  When I needed to laugh, she helped.  When I had to re-learn how to be social and civil, she helped.  I have often wondered what I would have went through if mj hadn't been a part of my healing back then.  It did not lead me to harder drugs.  It was not hard at all to quit when I wanted to either.  So, from an old soldier, the fear and lies that have been part and parcel of the American cannabis story are just that, induced fear and lies.  The greatest danger from using marijuana is the police and their draconian forfeiture laws, plus the arrest and resulting criminal drug record that pretty much ruins your future.   Do we really feel the need  to punish our sons and daughters this severely over such a petty issue?  Reason tells me the punishment is way out of proportion to the "crime".  Also, crime, to me, needs a victim.  Just who is the victim if 21 year old Joe public lights one up on his patio, in his own home, after the children are in bed?  Who is so harmed that we believe we need prohibition, forced entry and forfeiture laws?  Let's end the reefer madness once and for all please.  Science tells us that marijuana is safer than alcohol.  That it is impossible to overdose using marijuana.  Treated and regulated similar to alcohol I can see no sane reason for not making it legal. 


Mostly agree, however I would ask, who is victimized if your example lights up on his patio at ANY time of day or night?  The short answer is, NO ONE!



Tax & Regulate Cannabis

I have just enough faith in our citizens here on the mossy side of the Cascades, (and in a significant number within the Columbia Basin), that Washington will continue to be a reasonably progressive, socially-responsible populace.  We continue to support Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell, and reject regressive, mega-business robber barons for Governor, (thank God).  Common sense really should be relatively commonplace.

Let's take the Cannabis Prohibition into the 21st Century, where we are living. This isn't the moralistic imperialism era of McCarthy, William R. Hearst, J. Edgar Hoover, and the closeted neo-Fascists anymore.

Vote, contact your representatives, voice your opinions. I honorably served in the Army for almost a decade before being forced out by service-connected injuries. Why can the State deny me effective medical relief due to antiquated, non-scientific, Reactionary, pseudo religious-political dogma? Because the people have not spoken in sufficient numbers in the voting process. 

Sorry, we do not all support

those Democrat politicians, nor do we trust them.  They're, without a doubt, no better than the Republicans at individual rights, and just as bad on prohibition.  Remember, it was Joe Biden (our current VP) who authored and pushed thru congress that act which created the ONDCP and the position of drug czar, along with the mandate of that office, and the person who holds that position, to blatantly lie to the faces of the American people whenever the idea of legalization crops up.  I have written both those senators, repeatedly, about the war on drug(user)s and when they have deigned to respond, their response has been total support of that war on the people.

non-Sensible Washington

Moonrider, you are correct that this is an attempt to derail Sensible Washington's stupidity of a law. You people don't have a prayer of passing a bill absent sensible restrictions. What the heck is with the age 18 limit? Don't elementary school children have a right to get high? This bill demonstrates the groups name to be an oxymoron. Why not add free pot at taxpayer expense as well?

Well, Duncan,

The 18 age limit is due to the fact that any person considered enough of an adult to go to war, vote, sign a contract, get married sans parental permission, own property, hold any job (provided s/he is qualified), etc., should also be able to legally use intoxicants, especially the super safe ones like cannabis (as one example).  And no, elementary children do not have the right to get high, being as they have not matured to the point where they can give consent, or sign a contract, they do not have the experience or knowledge to decide for themselves, that is why they are still living with their parents.

I actually oppose taxation (and taxpayer funded welfare/warfare) except in cases where the tax functions as a user fee (as in gasoline taxes), so I would NEVER support free pot to users at taxpayer expense, but users should be free to grow it for themselves without regulation or taxation.  And users without green thumbs should be able to trade for it or outright buy it from those who DO have a green thumb without regulation or taxation. Medical users should not have to pay a tax on it, no other prescribed medication is taxed, nor should those who grow it for the providers, nor those providers/dispensaries.  But, if commercial farmers want to grow it for sale to recreational users, in stores, there they can regulate and tax to their heart's content, afaiac.

when will this be voted on???

when will this be voted on???

teen access

just saying, that thing about marijuana being more easily accessed than alcohol is completely true. i'm 16 and i could easily get weed any second of the day but alcohols much more difficult to acquire. 

I hope so cause i just gave

I hope so cause i just gave up trying to be a normal person to not finding a job like im a criminal becauss i smoked weed. Now im just gonna live for free on their tax dollars.

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