MA Legalization Effort Faces ‘Natural’ Challenge

MA Legalization Effort Faces 'Natural

California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act has been getting tons of press coverage, as legalization in the Golden State—which is the eighth-largest economy in the world—would be a watershed moment for the movement.

But it’s not the only state where voters will decide about recreational marijuana this November. The people of Massachusetts will also vote on their own version of the act, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol ballot initiative.

“Like many prohibition arguments, it’s pretty compelling, until you spend five seconds considering it. Because it’s not like marijuana suddenly became more potent yesterday. There were plenty of powerful strains available when Massachusetts decided to decriminalize it almost a decade ago.”

Up until this point, the leading voices against legalization have been, somewhat tellingly, coming from the same camp currently seeking to relax restrictions of alcohol sales. Quite literally, the geniuses behind the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts think it’s better to stay out drinking until four in the morning than to smoke a bowl after work.

Unfortunately, that group includes a hat-trick of prominent politicians, like Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and recovering alcoholic—and Mayor of Boston— Marty Walsh. The trio recently penned an op-ed for the Boston Globe which rested on the tired, and demonstrably false, argument that allowing adults to use marijuana recreationally will somehow “harm the children.”

Today, thanks to the ever-vigilant scribes at the Cannabist we learned of another challenge facing the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol initiative. This one, which has been filed with the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, rests on the idea that today’s weed is just too powerful.

As lead attorney John Scheft said:

“These items bear no resemblance to the leafy substance that nostalgic adults think this law will legalize. Nature’s pot should only have a maximum of 2.5 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the ingredient that gets people high.”

Like many arguments on the prohibition side, it’s pretty compelling, until you spend five seconds considering it. Because it’s not like marijuana suddenly became more potent yesterday. There were plenty of powerful strains available when Massachusetts decided to decriminalize weed almost a decade ago.

And while it might come as a surprise to many on the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, humans don’t generally ingest alcohol the way nature intended. If we did, the citizens of Boston would be scavenging for fermenting fruit—like monkeys do—instead of downing shooters made of whipped cream-flavored vodka, slamming back Irish Car Bombs, or drinking green beer every March 17th.

Fortunately, backers of Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol don’t seem concerned by the filing, and expect to see voters turn Massachusetts green in November.

[ via the Cannabist ]

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