Massachusetts’ Leading Politicians oppose Marijuana Legalization

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on March 09, 2016.

Massachusetts voters are likely to vote on a ballot in November for legalizing marijuana in terms of its use, possession, cultivation, taxation etc. Supporters of legalizing marijuana have also collected enough signatures to move the proposal to the poll, if lawmakers opt against debating and voting on it.

However, some of leading politicians of Massachusetts are opposing the proposal to legalize the marijuana in the state.

Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston wrote a letter with strong words in The Boston Globe opposing Marijuana legalization. They argue that young people are more likely to use marijuana when it is legal. In their view, it could easier for children to access the drug which can impact brain development.

The politicians also observed that the legalization of marijuana would create difficulties for law enforcement officers in determining someone is too high to drive. They also pointed out that cannabis legalization may also add risks for adults and could result in costly increases in medical expenses

“Here in Massachusetts, we face the possibility that any new revenue would be vastly insufficient to cover the cost of ambulance rides, emergency room visits, and treatment,” Baker, Walsh, and Healey write. “And these are just the hard costs; they don’t include the suffering of the injured and their families.”

Massachusetts decriminalized the drug in 2008 and legalized it in 2012 for medicinal purposes, but has not allowed residents to use it for recreation purpose. The state Legislature could pursue those goals itself ahead of a vote on the issue in the November election.

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