As New York debates legalizing recreational marijuana, groups in Massachusetts are proposing location sites after voters in the state opened the door for medical use of the drug in 2012. So far at least two groups are looking to site a dispensary in the county’s largest city, Pittsfield.
Members of the New York state legislature’s Black and Hispanic caucus and their allies made a last-minute push for a bill to decriminalize the public possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying current laws unfairly target young black and Latino men.
Assemblyman Karim Camara, who chairs the caucus, says the bill to decriminalize public possession of small amounts of marijuana is needed partly to fix an ongoing problem with the New York City Police Department’s Stop and Frisk policy. He and other supporters gathered outside the Senate chamber, to call for a vote.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is speaking out against the Commonwealth’s persecution of those who share marijuana, despite a ballot measure in 2008 that decriminalized the drug. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…
Lawmakers in Rhode Island and Maine are promising to push legislation to legalize marijuana in their states after voters in Colorado and Washington removed legal penalties for pot use.
Rhode Island state Rep. Edith Ajello and Maine state Rep. Diane Russell say public support for marijuana legalization is growing. They say regulated sales of marijuana would eliminate the criminal black market while raising badly needed revenue for governments.
Similar proposals are expected in Vermont and Massachusetts.
Last week, the states of Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for recreational use.
In our region, Massachusetts voters widely supported a referendum legalizing the prescription of marijuana for medicinal use.
For more on what these developments mean for the future of marijuana policy in New York State and across the country, WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke with Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project.