Massachusetts Senator Jason Lewis (D-MA) attempts to undermine legalization and the will of voters by introducing fourteen new bills. The proposed laws would target the sale, cultivation and possession of cannabis.
The recreational cannabis law took effect December 15, yet the structure for implementation remains to be seen. On Election Day, the measure garnered 53.6% of the more than 3 million who voted "Yes" on Question 4.
Critics say Sen.Lewis' bills would gut the original voter initiative.
“This is legislative intrusion on a citizens' initiative,” said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which pushed legalization. “We will fight any attempts to redo the law that was overwhelmingly approved by voters.”
Sen. Jason Lewis says the changes are out of concern for the safety of his constituents. “I don’t believe that people were voting on things like whether you should be able to homegrow three plants, or six plants, or 12 plants,” said in a Boston Globe article.
As reported by Fox Business, The proposed bills would change the following:
- It would reduce the amount of marijuana an adult over the age of 21 could possess in their home from 10 ounces to two ounces, and it would limit the number of marijuana plants that could be grown from 12 per household to six per household.
- It would delay the ability of pot dispensaries to sell marijuana edible products and massage oils by at least two additional years.
- Any marijuana products other than the unadulterated plant matter itself would be permanently banned.
- Cities and town governments would be granted greater power to reject marijuana dispensaries without having to bring a vote to the residents of the city or town.
“It’s in everybody’s best interest, including the advocates,” Senator Jason M. Lewis said, “that we do this right in Massachusetts and we do this in a way that is safe and that protects public health and safety.”
In total, eight of nine states passed their marijuana initiative or amendment in 2016, bringing the total to 28 states now having legalized medical marijuana.