March 15, 2017

Legal marijuana advocates fighting changes as Legislature debates, delays law

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Andy Metzger / State House News Service

Ellen Brown of Marstons Mills and the Northeast Cannabis Institute holds about $50 worth of legal "blue dream" marijuana in front of the State House Dec. 15.

Marijuana advocates spent millions of dollars to put a legal marijuana law in place in Massachusetts last year, and indicated earlier this week they are willing to spend more to protect the law approved by almost 1.8 million voters.

Beacon Hill leaders have made clear they intend to change the law — parts of which took effect in December, the rest delayed six months by the House, Senate and governor — and the committee in charge of making alterations to it is scheduled to hold its first hearing Monday.

Jim Borghesani, the communications director for the successful Yes on 4 campaign who now works with the Marijuana Policy Project, said the advocacy group is prepared to spend money in Massachusetts to make the case that legislative changes violate the voter-approved law.

“There is a chance on that,” Borghesani said when asked by a reporter if MPP might spend money on a “voter persuasion” effort. “We’ve already spent some money on social media targeting, which we think has been very effective; letting some members know exactly how their constituents feel.”

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