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Published On: Tue, Jan 3rd, 2017

Massachusetts voters approve Question 4

Statements below from the Yes on 4 campaign and the Marijuana Policy Project, which played a leading role in Question 4

BOSTON — Massachusetts voters approved Question 4 (54-46) on Tuesday. The measure will take effect on December 15, at which time possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana will officially become legal for adults. A summary of Question 4 and the full text of the initiative are available on the campaign’s website.

The Yes on 4 campaign released the following statements from Jim Borghesani, campaign director of communications, and from Matthew Schweich, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project, which played a leading role in Question 4 as well as the successful 2008 initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession in Massachusetts.

Statement from Yes on 4 Communications Director Jim Borghesani:

“Massachusetts voters today made a choice between two systems, one that would keep marijuana illegal and keep criminals in control, and one that would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana and put commerce in the hands of licensed businesses under the control of state regulators and local authorities. They chose a new path for Massachusetts, and we are both humbled and pleased by their decision.

“Voters sent a clear signal that they prefer a new system that will control youth access and generate new revenue for the state. This victory must be viewed through a national lens, particularly in light of similar successful measures in other states. Massachusetts has historically been at the forefront of sweeping social movements like civil rights and gay marriage, and we are doing so again with the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

“We are aware that some lawmakers have indicated their intent to change portions of the new law. We set up the Cannabis Control Commission to hold public hearings on all proposed regulations, so we would suggest that legislators consider making their voices heard at CCC meetings and then determining their future actions based on the regulations produced by the CCC. This would ensure an effective exchange of ideas while respecting the will of the voters.

“We stand ready to work with all interested parties to make the legalized, taxed and regulated system adopted by voters as effective and successful as possible.”

Statement from MPP Director of State Campaigns Matthew Schweich:

“Massachusetts has come a very long way on marijuana policy in just the last 10 years. We are committed to working with state and local officials to ensure Question 4 is implemented in the way voters intended. Massachusetts has the opportunity to set an example for neighboring states and inform lawmakers as they consider adopting similar policies via their legislatures. This was not just a big win for the Commonwealth, but also for New England.”

BORGHESANI STATEMENT

“Massachusetts voters today made a choice between two systems, one that would keep marijuana illegal and keep criminals in control, and one that would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana and put commerce in the hands of licensed businesses under the control of state regulators and local authorities. They chose a new path for Massachusetts, and we are both humbled and pleased by their decision.

“Voters sent a clear signal that they prefer a new system that will control youth access and generate new revenue for the state. This victory must be viewed through a national lens, particularly in light of similar successful measures in other states. Massachusetts has historically been at the forefront of sweeping social movements like civil rights and gay marriage, and we are doing so again with the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

“We are aware that some lawmakers have indicated their intent to change portions of the new law. We set up the Cannabis Control Commission to hold public hearings on all proposed regulations, so we would suggest that legislators consider making their voices heard at CCC meetings and then determining their future actions based on the regulations produced by the CCC. This would ensure an effective exchange of ideas while respecting the will of the voters.

“We stand ready to work with all interested parties to make the legalized, taxed and regulated system adopted by voters as effective and successful as possible.”

SCHWEICH STATEMENT

“Massachusetts has come a very long way on marijuana policy in just the last 10 years. We are committed to working with state and local officials to ensure Question 4 is implemented in the way voters intended. Massachusetts has the opportunity to set an example for neighboring states and inform lawmakers as they consider adopting similar policies via their legislatures. This was not just a big win for the Commonwealth, but also for New England.”

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