July 23, 2017

Sina-cism: Lawmakers can’t resist stirring the pot

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Will the new legal marijuana bill state legislators put on the governor's desk be a net positive for Massachusetts residents?

Advocates of marijuana legalization are pleased following agreement last Monday among House and Senate negotiators on Beacon Hill on an implementation package for recreational marijuana sales.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

I understand the short-term euphoria. By July 1, 2018, you will be able to purchase marijuana legally in a state once dominated by Puritan morality and blue laws.

“While we don’t approve of every provision of this bill, we are satisfied that the outcome will serve the interests of Massachusetts residents and allow the Commonwealth to displace the unregulated marijuana market with a system of taxation and regulation,” said Matthew Schweich of the Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy group behind last November’s ballot initiative.

But will this legislation create a well-regulated marijuana market, suppress illicit drugs, yield reliable state tax revenue in the long term and pass constitutional muster?

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