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Legalization: Part 5 – The Mass. Effect

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Through a series of stories this week on ABC40 and online at WGGB.com, an ABC40 investigation explained how Colorado law surrounding legalized marijuana works and who can buy marijuana legally.

It also highlighted the pros and cons from those on both sides of the issue.

The push is on for a 2016 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana here in Massachusetts, just like it is in Colorado.

“Our organization has a lot supporters in Massachusetts. We ran a decriminalization there back in 2008. We intend to really rally these folks and work with a lot of other local groups to push this thing forward,” Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project said.

“When we go to 2016, we are going to try to put together a ballot question which reflects the voters of Massachusetts, what they really want,” Terry Franklin of the Bay State Repeal Campaign Committee said.

While in Denver, ABC40 also caught up Ashley Kilroy, the city’s Director of Marijuana Policy. Without taking sides, we asked her what advice she would have for Massachusetts as the legalization process ramps up.

“It’s just to be sure that you are listening to everybody, that you keep in mind some of the issues that we have kept in the forefront- the youth issue, public health, public safety, quality of life in our neighborhoods while still balancing that against the will of voters who want recreationally marijuana, retail marijuana, and those consumers who have for the most part behaved responsibly from what we have seen,” Kilroy said.

Meantime, marijuana health and wellness advocacy group Smart Colorado says that voters need to truly educate themselves on what approving legalized marijuana will mean.

“You need to stress to them that they don’t know what this market will look like and if they think it’s the marijuana of their youth, they need to learn more about it,” Rachel O’Bryan said. “These products are not the marijuana of our youth.”

Legalization Part 1: Law of the Land
Legalization Part 2: The Marijuana Store
Legalization Part 3: The Local Impact
Legalization Part 4: The Big Debate
Legalization Part 5: The Mass. Effect


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