Ten State Lawmakers Join Effort to Legalize Marijuana

Vote Yes on 4, they say.

Ten state lawmakers have come out endorsing the bid to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group pursuing legalization by ballot question, announced the roster of supporters on Thursday: three senators and seven state representatives, all Democrats.

“It’s time to get this over with,” said Belmont Sen. Will Brownsberger, senate chair of the Judiciary Committee, in a statement. “The prohibition approach to the control of marijuana use just has not worked.”

The announcements comes three weeks after a bipartisan team of top state politicians launched their effort to counter the legalization push. Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, and House Speaker Bob DeLeo all oppose the ballot question, and have joined forces to form a group called the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts. Attorney General Maura Healey is also opposed to the legalization.

In an interview, CRMLA spokesman Jim Borghesani says more endorsements “from across the spectrum” are coming in the “near future.” But he’s anticipating it will be a tough sell for many at the State House.

“The other side will probably have more endorsers. That’s what always happens in a status quo campaign,” he says. “It’s easy to support the status quo. But we’re pleased to have these legislators, and hopefully more will come around to the opinion that prohibition’s time has come and gone.”

Also listed as supporters in Thursday’s announcement:

  • Dave Rogers and Marjorie Decker, of Cambridge
  • Pat Jehlen, of Cambridge
  • Tom Sannicandro, of Framingham
  • Jamie Eldridge, of Acton
  • Michael Moran, of Brighton
  • Jay Livingstone, of Boston
  • Brian Mannal, of Centreville
  • Mary Keefe, of Worcester

“Despite decades of current policy, nothing has changed and the time has long since come to take a more realistic approach,” Rogers says in the statement. “By regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana in the Commonwealth we will allow law enforcement to focus on serious crimes, raise substantial revenue, and all but eliminate a dangerous black market.”

The proposed law, which will be Question 4 on the ballot in November, would allow adults to buy the drug in retail stores and grow small amounts of it at home. It would also create a new Cannabis Control Commission and set up new taxes on marijuana sales.

  • Diatheke

    Great news! Anyone paying attention knows legalization is the right thing to do.

  • Franklin

    It’s refreshing to see those who aren’t on the cartel payroll stand up to those who are. Marijuana prohibition serves the violent gangs. Any prohibition creates corruption within government and law enforcement. From Al Capone to El Chapo in Mexico.

    It is impossible for the black market to operate without partnership on both sides. Alcohol was prohibited for only 13 years. Marijuana has be seriously criminalized for 40 years. Zero positive effect. More people in prison than communist China and Russia combined. We have a higher crime rate. We have to do something as our government is spending our pension money on this cat and mouse game that breaks up families and put our honest law enforcement in harm’s way.

    Investors make huge profits in the prison industry. Billed to the taxpayer. This is America, and police in black mask bashing down doors in the middle of the night over something as mild as marijuana is not acceptable in the 21st Century.

    Embrace our honest lawmakers and law enforcement. They are in a battle with those who have sold out within our government.

    • http://www.ohiorightsgroup.org/ Victoria Khan

      very well said!

    • familyguy

      Spot-On!

  • massman

    Vote out prohibitionists. Legalize 2016.

  • Arby_5925

    This is a good start, but we’ll need a lot more support to counteract the fear-mongering that Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, House Speaker Bob DeLeo, and Attorney General Maura Healey are sure to start.

    People are going to use cannabis regardless of whether it’s legal or not. It’s time to take it out of the realm of the criminal element and bring into the light where it will be safer.

    Legalize, regulate, and tax it like other vices that are already accepted. It would be much better for the money to go to local, legal businesses rather than back-alley gangs.

  • familyguy

    Walsh, Baker Healey and Deleo are all communist and if allowed would have prevented the issue from going to ballot in court. Let Freedom ring! Vote-out all communist!