Massachusetts Legalisation Campaign Smashes Target

Posted on November 10 2015

To qualify for a place on the November 2016 ballot a petition needs to get 64,570 signatures - in Massachusetts. Once a petition, for any change in law, reaches that number it automatically earns a place on the table. This Monday, The Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced that it had collected over 100,000 signatures. The signatures are required to be reviewed and certified by town and city clerks before being submitted to the secretary of the commonwealth by the 2nd of December, but given the number of signatures on the petition, it seems that the conversation about legalisation will at least take place

So what does this mean? Well, it’s not necessarily indicative of any real progress, unfortunately. A similar petition in the UK (with a similar percentage above and beyond) resulted in a conversation amongst UK Parliament that basically went, “So, weed?” “No thanks.” However, if Massachusetts Legislation does not adopt the measure then initiative backers have a fall-back option unlike in the UK; if they collect 10,792 additional signatures in June 2016 then they can place the initiative on the November 2016 ballot. In this sense, every single person who signs the petition could be vital. 

And what exactly does the proposed initiative, well, propose? 

“Massachusetts voters want the opportunity to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in 2016,” said campaign manager Will Luzier. “This initiative will replace the underground marijuana market with a tightly regulated system of licensed businesses that pay taxes and create good jobs.

“It should not be a crime for adults to engage in the responsible consumption of a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol,” Luzier said. “Police have far more pressing things to worry about than issuing citations to every adult they find in possession of a small amount of marijuana.”



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