The organizations proposing the ballot measures may each have a unique approach to marijuana, but their end goal is effectively the same: end the senseless prohibition against cannabis.
Bay State Repeal intends to specifically repeal the prohibition against growing, possessing and using marijuana, while The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol aims to, well, regulate marijuana like alcohol.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana will propose a 3.75 percent excise tax and optional taxes at the local level, an approach they hope will sway the both minds and the wallets of voters. A state commission would be established to regulate cannabis.
Bay State Repeal has three drafts prepared, and none of them include additional taxes. They want it to be treated as any other product available to adults. Though it will carry the same age restrictions as alcohol, production and distribution would not be taxed differently, as it is with alcohol and tobacco.
They’re subtle differences, and it won’t really matter to the other which one wins – as long as one does manage to pass. It looks likely. A recent poll found that 53 percent of Massachusetts voters were in favor of legalizing marijuana, with only 37 percent in opposition.
Those are great numbers when compared with earlier years. Just ten years ago, the thought might have been ludicrous. It seems as though logic is finally winning out, and Massachusetts could become one more nail in the coffin of prohibition.
Massachusetts marijuana legalization is coming, and it may arrive in two flavors. If it doesn’t pass this time around, you can still bet that prohibition won’t last to the next election cycle. Public opinion is in support, and even if the law doesn’t precisely legalize marijuana, we’re likely to see a more reasonable stance from authorities develop as frustrations with the drug war continue to mount.