So far, July has been a great month for Massachusetts with two wins for the campaign for legalization by the state judicial court and there are high hopes for all the initiatives on the November ballot. First, the court rejected an attempt to keep the initiative off the ballot and the other was a tweak to the wording that, turns out, is in their favor.
With major victories for the legalization ahead of November’s ballots, Massachusetts will be home to one of the Northeast Cannabis Caucuses for the National Cannabis Industry Association with special guest speaker, Will Luzier, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.
“We obviously are a bit concerned that a few public officials in MA have voiced their opposition to the initiative,” Mike Correia, Director of Government Relations for NCIA tells The Marijuana Times, “however, public opinion is so great, and the Presidential election will bring out tons of young voters, so we’re very hopeful and excited. We think the citizens of Massachusetts will do the right thing and decide to tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol.”
The rejected challenge was an accusation that the initiative covered more than one topic – which is not permitted in the state. The other decision came from the courts to change the title from “Marijuana Legalization” to “Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana.” The latter, the campaign argues, really captures the full scope of the initiative.
Unfortunately, efforts are being met with great opposition by Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo. The trio formed the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts. Baker, a Republican, cites underage consumption and likens the drug to opiates. In a statement, he calls it a “drug that would put our children at risk and threaten to reverse our progress combating the growing opioid epidemic so this industry can rake in millions in profits.”
“Every state is important when it comes to legalization efforts, but it’s even more important when a state legalizes on the East Coast. It shows Congress that marijuana is more than just a regional issue,” said Correia.
You can visit IllegallyAlive.org for more information on the real American drug epidemic – opiates. You can also read about studies showing marijuana’s healing properties, as well as the case for cannabis actually being an ‘exit drug’ – helping addicts deal with withdrawal symptoms when a user tries to stop using what’s normally their legal prescription of pain pills.
The NCIA is a national trade association for legal marijuana businesses in the U.S. The Cannabis Caucuses are held in the cannabis industry’s twelve most active regions during the first month of each quarter.
The event is $50 for non-members and will take place on July 14th, at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge at 6:30PM.