Beacon Transcript – Pot legalization has become a sticky subject in these past few months as the vote for marijuana legalization in Massachusetts and its fellow 4 states that have set out to decide is a little over a month away.
In an attempt to join in with the likes of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine and legalize recreational marijuana, the state of Massachusetts has released a 24 pages long act in which its proposed plan is thoroughly explained and outlined.
A set of clear delimitations is to be set, such as an age limit (21 years old, just like alcohol) or the quantity one can carry around in public, that is 1 ounce, which one can also offer as a gift, just so you know.
The first licenses for recreational marijuana production and distribution are programmed to be released around January 1, 2018, with a preference in license order for the already existing medical marijuana dispensaries. Residents also have the option of growing the plants themselves, but within a 6 to 12 maximum number of plants per household, and where the public can’t see them. That is if they intend to use binoculars, optical aids or an aircraft in order to see them.
As pot would now be considered a legal business, the CCC board and other auxiliary staff would ensure that the licenses for the new industry would come with clear regulations. The four new branches would be the cultivation, production testing, the manufacturing in itself, and the retail domain.
The retailers and future stores would have to sell the marijuana with specifically designed labels that would include, amongst others, a warning not to consume too much marijuana at once. It would also have to come in child-proof packs, so as to not to be consumed, offered or sold to children (a 500 feet distance between selling points and schools will be mandatory).
Even if it will be legal, recreational marijuana will not be used in stores or public places, but the CCC could approve marijuana bars or its use on special occasions such as festivals or other events.
Although it is yet unclear if local boards could interfere with the aforementioned bars and special events cases, it has been clearly outlined that the local town or city municipalities have a saying on the matter of marijuana stores and would be able to vote for the founding (or not) of such an establishment.
As the current penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana would still be in place, but the taxes on pot would bring a noticeable increase in the CCC and state funds, the question of pot legalization seems to depend on and lie solely in the hands of the future voters.
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