The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill that would legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use.
Dick Evans, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supporting a 2016 ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts, assisted in drafting H.1561 and will join lead House sponsor Rep. David Rogers to testify in support of the measure.
Rogers and Evans will hold a media availability at 12:30 p.m. ET just outside of the hearing room in the State House, where they will discuss the details of the legislation and the benefits of replacing marijuana prohibition with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.
"It's time for Massachusetts to replace the failed policy of marijuana prohibition with a more sensible system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol," Evans said. "We support this legislative effort, but we are also committed to moving forward with the initiative so that voters can take over if the legislature fails to act.
"Whether it happens in the legislature or at the ballot box, the result will be the same," Evans said. "Our communities will be safer because marijuana will be produced and sold by licensed businesses instead of criminals in the underground market. Our citizens will be safer because law enforcement will be able to spend more time addressing serious crimes instead of enforcing failed prohibition laws. And adults will no longer be punished simply for using a substance that is significantly less harmful than alcohol."
WHAT: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Chairman Dick Evans will join lead House sponsor Rep. David Rogers to testify in favor of H.1561, which would end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Evans assisted in drafting the bill.
WHEN: Wednesday, January 13; media availability at 12:30 p.m. ET, testimony begins at 1 p.m. ET
WHERE: Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Hearing Room A-1, Massachusetts State House; media availability will take place outside the hearing room
WHO: State Rep. David Rogers
Dick Evans, chairman, Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
NOTE: H.1561 is broadly similar, though separate, from the petition sponsored by CRMLA. CRMLA's petition, H. 3932, is also before the legislature and is awaiting a hearing date.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is supporting a 2016 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateMassachusetts.org.