With 59% of votes being counted, and a 6% lead that has not changed for quite some time, I think it’s safe to say that Massachusetts voters have approved Question 4, which legalizes recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts was one of the hardest fought states in the 2016 election cycle, and I’m ecstatic to see the initiative approved. Even the Catholic church jumped into the fray during the campaign season, donating $850,000 to oppose marijuana legalization in Massachusetts. But all of those opponents’ dollars were wasted, because marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts (well, once it takes effect, but it’s on it’s way!). Below is a summary of the initiative that was approved by Massachusetts voters today (full text here):
- Create a commission similar to the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission (ABCC) to oversee a tightly controlled system of licensed retail stores, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities and testing facilities.
- Require businesses to test marijuana products and adhere to strict packaging and labeling guidelines.
- Give cities and towns the right to regulate, limit, or prohibit the operation of marijuana establishments.
- Impose a 3.75% excise tax on marijuana sales on top of the 6.25% MA sales tax, and allow cities and towns to add a local tax up to 2%.
- Allow adults 21 years of age or older to possess and cultivate marijuana in limited amounts.
- It will NOT allow marijuana to be used in public.
- It will remain entirely illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, and employers will be able to maintain all current employment drug use policies.