SJC Rules Legal Marijuana Ballot Question Good to Go

Voters will decide whether to legalize it in November.

Background Texture of Marijuana Plants at Indoor Cannabis Farm Vintage

Voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in November. / Photo via

Voters in Massachusetts are now all but guaranteed a chance to weigh in on legal weed, after the state’s highest court today gave the green light to a referendum on recreational marijuana.

The ballot initiative from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is legal, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday.

It will get a bit of tinkering first, though. The court ruled the wording for the question was “misleading” and ordered that it be changed, so the title of the question will now be “Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana”—a beefier version than the old one: “Marijuana Legalization.”

It will also add language making it clear that the law would allow edible pot products.

Here’s how the wording looks now:

A YES VOTE would allow persons 21 and older to possess, use, and transfer marijuana and products containing marijuana concentrate (including edible products) and to cultivate marijuana, all in limited amounts, and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commercial sale of marijuana and marijuana products.

The CRMLA also planned on Wednesday to submit all the required signatures to put the question to voters on Nov. 8. Spokesman Jim Borghesani tells Boston his group has collected more than 25,000, well beyond the minimum of 10,792. The initiative now awaits certification from the Secretary of State.

“Obviously we are very pleased,” Borghesani said. “It’s really a victory for the voters of Massachusetts because the SJC assured them today that their voices will be heard in November.”

The CRMLA is beginning to ratchet up its campaign, but Borghesani said to expect the bulk of the effort not to kick off until Labor Day.

“We’re going to continue to educate the voters, and now we don’t have the possibility of being kicked off the ballot anymore from the SJC.”

The court disagreed with opponents who argued that the question sought to do too much all at once, which is what felled a bid to wipe out the Common Core standards for Massachusetts schools.

Attorney General Maura Healey has said publicly she does not support legalization, as have Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker. Baker, Walsh and House Speaker Robert DeLeo teamed up to lead the anti-recreational marijuana Campaign for a Safe & Healthy Massachusetts.

  • Brian Kelly

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and glorified as an All American pastime, booze.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Marijuana Nationwide!

    • Brian Kelly

      It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national marijuana policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-marijuana, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

      Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

      The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

      Legalize Nationwide!

      • Brian Kelly

        Every poll in the nation shows A Solid Majority of Americans favor The Legalization of Marijuana Nationwide!

        “Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Support surged 10 percentage points in past year, to 58%”

        “A solid majority of voters nationwide favor legalizing and regulating marijuana similar to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are currently regulated. Most also don’t believe it should be a crime for people to smoke marijuana in the privacy of their own homes”

        “Americans favor making cannabis legal for adults, according to the findings of a CNN/ORC International survey released late Monday. The percentage is the highest ever reported by the survey, which has been tracking public opinion on the issue since 1973, and marks a 12 percentage point jump in support since the last time pollsters posed the question in 2012”

        • Brian Kelly

          The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

          Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

          The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

          Marijuana is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

          Even The President of the United States has consumed marijuana. Has it hurt his chances at succeeding in life? If he had gotten caught by the police during his college years, he may have very well still been in prison today! Beyond that, he would then be fortunate to even be able to find a minimum wage job that would consider hiring him with a permanent criminal record. Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

          The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less marijuana “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

          Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

          Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

          • Brian Kelly

            In the prohibitionist’s world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are “stoners” and “dopers” that need to be incarcerated in order to to protect society.

            In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their God given duty to worry about “saving us all” from the “evils” of marijuana use.

            Who are they to tell us we can’t choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of alcohol for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?

            People who consume marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who “follow the law” also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it’s current prohibition of course) .

            Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make them out to be. They are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.

            Several Presidents of The United States themselves, along with Justin Trudeau, Bill Gates, and Carl Sagan have all confessed to their marijuana use. As have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.

            Although that doesn’t mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like “dopers” and “stoners” about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.

            To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, advertises, and even glorifies alcohol consumption like it’s an All American pastime.

            There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long hard day than having a drink or two of alcohol.

            So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can’t enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes?

            We’ve worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don’t appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.

            Has a marijuana consumer ever forced you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force anybody not to either.

            Don’t try to impose your morality and “clean living” upon everybody else with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won’t think you’re such prohibitionist hypocrites.

            Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

          • Brian Kelly

            “Smoking marijuana is 114 times safer than drinking alcohol”


            “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say”

            “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead By Christopher Ingraham February 23

            Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

            Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.”


            “The report discovered that marijuana is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Researchers were able to determine this by comparing the lethal doses with the amount of typical use. Through this approach, marijuana had the lowest mortality risk to users out of all the drugs they studied. In fact—because the numbers were crossed with typical daily use—marijuana is the only drug that tested as “low risk.”