Ten lawmakers endorse commercial marijuana ballot question
By State House News Service | July 29, 2016, 6:49 EDT
The campaign to legalize adult marijuana use in Massachusetts announced endorsements Thursday from 10 state lawmakers, who said a ballot question’s passage in the fall would generate new tax revenues and end marijuana prohibition laws that they called a failure.
“It’s time we got this over with. The prohibition approach to the control of marijuana use just has not worked,” Sen. Will Brownsberger of Belmont, co-chair of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, said in a statement released by the Yes on 4 campaign.
The campaign also announced endorsements from Sens. Patricia Jehlen of Somerville and Jamie Eldridge of Acton and Reps. David Rogers and Marjorie Decker of Cambridge, Tom Sannicandro of Framingham, Michael Moran of Brighton, Jay Livingstone of Boston, Brian Mannal of Centerville and Mary Keefe of Worcester.
Sannicandro said the question’s passage would “help reduce mass incarceration while undermining the underground economy.” Decker said residents of low-income and minority communities have been disproportionately affected by enforcement of prohibition laws.
The campaign opposing the ballot question last week cited a Boston Globe poll of 901 registered voters that found 51 percent planned to vote against the ballot measure, while 41 percent supported it and 9 percent were undecided. A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll conducted in May showed 46 percent of likely voters opposing the question, with 43 percent supporting it, and 11 percent undecided.
“These polls show that as more people learn about Question 4 – a proposal written by and for the commercial marijuana industry – the more concerns they have,” Safe and Healthy Massachusetts Campaign Manager Nick Bayer said in a statement. “Question 4 would usher in the dangerous marijuana edibles industry, allow people to grow pot in their homes and apartments even over objections by neighbors, and undermine our work combatting the addiction crisis.”
Yes on 4 spokesman Jim Borghesani said the campaign anticipates more lawmakers will endorse the question.
— Written by Michael Norton
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