The Massachusetts Secretary of State's office today certified 70,739 signatures submitted by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, clearing the way for the petition to move forward toward the 2016 state ballot.
"Today's announcement confirms that the people of Massachusetts want to vote on an initiative to regulate marijuana and end the practice of punishing adults for using a substance less harmful than alcohol," said Campaign Manager Will Luzier. "We are excited to have reached this milestone and look forward to the legislative debate over the benefits of ending prohibition and regulating and taxing marijuana."
The petition will now be transmitted to the Massachusetts Legislature. If the legislature does not adopt the measure, initiative backers must collect 10,792 additional signatures in June 2016 to place the initiative on the November 2016 ballot.
The proposed initiative would:
- Allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow a limited number of marijuana plants in their homes, similar to home-brewing;
- Create a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail outlets, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities, which would be overseen by a commission similar to the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission (ABCC);
- Provide local governments with the authority to regulate and limit the number of marijuana establishments in their city or town; and
- Create a 3.75% state excise tax on retail marijuana sales (in addition to the standard state sales tax) and allow local governments to establish an additional local sales tax of up to 2%. [Medical marijuana will NOT be subject to these additional taxes.]
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.