A Closer Look at the Pros and Cons of Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Massachusetts | NECN
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A Closer Look at the Pros and Cons of Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Massachusetts

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On November 8, Massachusetts voter will consider Question 4, a referendum on legalizing recreational cannabis. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016)

    Marijuana legalization is a burning issue in Massachusetts, and come Nov. 8, voters will consider Question 4, a referendum on legalizing recreational cannabis.

    "It's nonsense for it to be illegal," Andy Gaus, who has been using recreational marijuana for 50 years, said.

    Gaus others used cannabis on the Boston Common in September in support of Question 4. The retired book editor from Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood says it’s not about getting high, it’s really about giving people their freedom.

    "It simply isn't the government's business that somebody is sitting home and enjoying marijuana," Gaus said.

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    Shanel Lindsay, a mother and an attorney, was stopped with marijuana she was using to treat an ovarian cyst before it was legalized for medicinal purposes in Massachusetts. She says she was nearly arrested instead of fined, and she is now pushing for support for Question 4, which would legalize it recreationally in the Bay State. (Published Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016)

    Voting "yes" on Question 4 would legalize recreational marijuana, but there are still restrictions: Anyone 21 or older could use, grow or have pot; people are limited to 1 oz. in public and 10 oz. at home.

    The state would also create a Cannabis Control Commission and levy a 10 percent state tax. Towns have the option to add a 2 percent tax.

    Meanwhile, the pros and cons of marijuana legalization were argued during a debate at UMass Boston sponsored by WMUR last week.

    Jim Borghesani with the "Yes on Four" campaign faced off with state Sen. Jason Lewis from the "Vote No on Four" campaign. The Winchester lawmaker also studied marijuana legalization for a year.

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    "This ballot question takes away control from our cities and towns which will lead to pot shops and marijuana grow facilities in all of our communities across the state," Sen. Lewis said.

    "We need a safer system of marijuana sales in mass and the best way to do that is make it regulated and taxed and licensed," Borghesani said.

    Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the Massachusetts attorney general are all part of "Vote No on Four."

    All three and state law enforcement groups believe legal marijuana is a public safety threat.

    Hoping to grow grassroots support, pro-legalization groups are going door to door. If the referendum passes, recreational marijuana will become legal on Dec. 15.

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