Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg backs Marijuana Legalization

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on October 22, 2016.

Massachusetts Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg said he’s backing a ballot question that would legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes for adults in the state.

"I'm going to vote for this ballot question," Rosenberg said on WGBH-FM on Thursday. "I believe it's going to pass."

The Amherst Democrat took his stance on marijuana after more than a year of declining his position on Question 4, which would eliminate penalties for possessing, using, or purchasing marijuana on Dec. 15, and would allow recreational pot shops to open in 2018.

Rosenberg, a critic of the ballot process who said legislating could be undertaken to amend the language of the referendum, considered that he and fellow lawmakers could make improvements to the question if voters approve in the November ballot.

The ballot question would allow people of 21 years old or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use. It would also allow the home cultivation of up to 12 marijuana plants within the person's primary residence for personal use.

Meanwhile, top officials on Beacon Hill, including Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey, Democratic House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Mayor Martin J. Walsh are working to defeat the referendum.

They claim that legalization of marijuana for recreational use could lead people to harder drugs, including opioids, which are blamed for a surge in overdose deaths in the state in recent years.

The opponents also worry about a billion-dollar pot industry taking advantage of the vulnerable and putting profits ahead of public health and safety.

Taking his position, Rosenberg however said any changes to the measure, should it pass, would be focused on public health and public safety.

comments powered by Disqus