InWashington and Colorado became the first two states to pass laws taxing and regulating marijuana. Wednesday will mark the one-year anniversary of retail marijuana sales in Washington. Adult possession of marijuana became legal on December 6,30 days after the passage of I, the voter-approved initiative legalizing marijuana for adults 21 and older. A year-and-a-half later, the first retail marijuana store opened its doors on July 8,
November 20, On November 8,Bay State voters approved Question 4, the historic MPP-supported ballot initiative that ended marijuana prohibition for adults 21 and older.
As a result, marijuana became legal for adults to grow and possess in Massachusetts on December 15, The first sales began on November 20,when two licensed retail stores began selling cannabis to adults.
Massachusetts is now only state on the East Coast with state-legal, adult-use marijuana sales. Although Question 4 won a decisive victory among voters, it soon became clear that the law would need to be defended from interference by the Massachusetts Legislature, which quickly moved to make changes to the implementation timeline and other key aspects of the law.
Sparking controversy, a small group of legislators met in a special, non-transparent legislative session during the final days of to delay the opening of marijuana businesses by six months.
Throughout the legislative session, MPP worked both inside and outside the statehouse to defend the will of the voters from further legislative interference.
Fortunately, thanks to thousands of supporters making calls and pressuring lawmakers, the legislature ultimately discarded a flawed proposal from the House and instead passed a compromise bill that largely respects the will of the voters. Retail sales of cannabis to adults 21 and older were long expected to begin in the Bay State on July 1, However, the licensing process advanced at a slower pace than expected.
The first cultivation facility was approved in June and the first retailers were approved in July. The Yes on 4 Campaign Having played an important role in decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing medical marijuana through ballot initiatives — in and respectively — the Marijuana Policy Project and local allies began laying the groundwork for a legalization campaign in The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol CRMLAas it was called, formed a drafting committee comprised of advocates, attorneys, and experts on marijuana businesses who wrote what would eventually become known as Question 4.
The end product was a sensible proposal to end the failed policy of prohibition in a way that prioritized public health, safety, and social justice. Will Luzier, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general who also served as executive director of the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Substance Abuse and Prevention from until Aprilserved as campaign manager.
Jim Borghesani, who filled the role of communications director, previously worked in top communications positions in the offices of the Massachusetts governor and as a journalist.
With the petition language written and able leaders at the helm of the campaign, the signature drive kicked off in fall of Thanks to the dedicated efforts of hundreds of signature gatherers, CRMLA became the Yes on 4 Campaign in July when the secretary of state announced that the initiative had officially qualified for the November ballot.
Throughoutthe campaign focused on several core messages that reinforced why legalizing and regulating marijuana was a more sensible policy than prohibition. The campaign also aired several TV ads that highlighted the public health and safety benefits of legalizing and regulating marijuana, including one featuring retired police lieutenant Tom Nolan.
In the lead up to Election Day, hundreds of volunteers and student activists across the state dedicated their time and energy to support the Yes on 4 Campaign. Using cutting edge tools to assist with door-to-door canvassing and voter outreach, the campaign mobilized a robust get-out-the-vote effort.
Ultimately, Question 4 prevailed on November 8 with Timeline of marijuana policy reform in Massachusetts — Voters approved a ballot initiative decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Legislators then began working on changes to the initiative. The House passed a bad bill that would have made major changes to the law, but MPP and its allies fought back and persuaded the Senate to defend the will of voters. The implementation law that ultimately passed kept most of the initiative intact, and Gov.
Baker signed it into law.Revenues From Legalization Assuming a tax of $ or $1 per joint, we can venture a rough estimate of the revenues that could be raised from legalized cannabis.
The economic benefits of marijuana legalization are summarized in Table 2. The total direct savings to government in taxes and enforcement come to some $8 - $16 billion per . Jul 13, · “We are pleased that the Governor and the State Department of Health have fully studied the existing evidence and accurately concluded that legalizing marijuana for adult use is the right choice.
Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana, is cannabis and cannabinoids that are recommended by doctors for their patients. The use of cannabis as medicine has not been rigorously tested due to production restrictions and other governmental regulations.
Limited evidence suggests that cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and .
Mar 13, · A new report out of Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research found economic benefits to legal cannabis, even when .
One of the most egregious outcomes of marijuana prohibition is that many sick people cannot legally access the medicine that works best for them.
The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is committed to legalizing marijuana at the state and federal levels and improving medical marijuana programs to better protect patients’ rights and access to medicine.
As several states consider marijuana legalization initiatives, all eyes are on the initial outcomes of Washington’s marijuana law.
In , Washington and Colorado became the first two states to pass laws taxing and regulating marijuana.