Key elected officials oppose recreational marijuana in Massachusetts

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on July 12, 2016.

In an unusual show of political strength, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker , Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Friday attended “The Safe and Healthy Massachusetts Campaign” opposing a proposed ballot question seeking to legalize small amounts of recreational marijuana.

The event took place at the William Ostiguy Recovery High School in Boston, where large scale of people from Boston’s health care, law enforcement, nonprofit sectors participated.  More importantly, the campaign, which opposes marijuana legalization, is a bipartisan effort. While Walsh, DeLeo and Tompkins are Democrats, Baker and Polito are Republicans.

In a statement, the key officials predicted that if voters legalize it, marijuana and edible candy versions of the drug would seep into younger people's hands and serve as a gateway to usage of deadly narcotics such as heroin.

The officials at the anti-legalization event also framed the measure as a grave negative for the state’s young people, and underscored the potential that, like Big Tobacco has for decades, Big Marijuana would target the state’s most vulnerable populations.

DeLeo revealed that he would have been a hypocrite to support marijuana legalization as he works to fight the opioid abuse epidemic.

Walsh, a recovering alcoholic and longtime advocate for people struggling with addiction, said when he mulls the ballot question, he thinks about the many wakes and funerals he has attended for people who died of overdoses and how their addictions started.

Others officials also outlined the reasons they oppose the proposed measure for legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

Notably, Massachusetts voters voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2012. If the proposed measure passed on the November ballot, people aged 21 or above could possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use.

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