California’s highly publicized effort to legalize the commercial cultivation and sale of cannabis is getting some well-deserved company!
A pair of bills — House Bill 2929 and Senate Bill 1801 — seeking to “tax and regulate the cannabis industry” have just been introduced in the Massachusetts legislature.
These proposals seek to legally regulate the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adults over 21 years of age. Like California’s proposal, they would impose licensing requirements and excise taxes on the retail sale of cannabis. By some estimates, these taxes could raise nearly $100 million in annual state revenue.
Adults who possess or grow marijuana for personal use, or who engage in the non-profit transfer of cannabis, would not be subject to taxation under the law.
You can read more about these bills at the new website: http://www.cantaxreg.com. If you live in Massachusetts, we urge you to write your elected officials in support of H. 2929 and S. 1801 by going here.
“Decades of whispered grumblings about the wisdom and efficacy of prohibition is rapidly giving way to a serious—really serious public discussion about how to replace it,” said former NORML Board Member Richard Evans, who assisted in drafting the landmark legislation. “Those who consider themselves leaders in government and the media have the obligation to either show how prohibition can be made to work, or join in the exploration of alternatives.”
We can’t think of a better place to begin this discussion on the east coast than Massachusetts, where last November 65 percent of voters endorsed a statewide initiative reclassifying marijuana possession as a fine-only offense under state law. Will a majority of Bay State voters also support legalization? We may soon find out!
By: Paul Armentano
March 23rd, 2009