Pubdate: Mon, 20 Apr 2015
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2015 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.


Speaking of complicated ballot questions (see above) we now have our 
first look at the effort to legalize the sale and use of marijuana 
for recreational purposes in Massachusetts and it is, to put it 
mildly, laughable. The draft law is exhaustive in its scope, 
stretches to 27 pages - and is all the proof we need that an issue 
like this should never be dropped in voters' laps.

The group Bay State Repeal has submitted a draft of the initiative to 
Attorney General Maura Healey, a first step in qualifying the 
question for the ballot in 2016 (if lawmakers don't act first, which 
it appears they won't). And frankly we'd be surprised if it didn't 
take a whole team of assistant attorneys general months to sort 
through, ahem, the weeds.

We find particular entertainment in the preamble, which declares 
existing efforts to stamp out marijuana use to be "unjust, 
intemperate and profligate of public resources, unwholesome, 
unreasonable and racially disparate." (Oh, that's all?)

Adults, after all, "have the right to seek and obtain their happiness ... "

Really, now - how have we waited this long to enshrine "finding our 
bliss" into the Massachusetts General Laws!

The draft makes the unfounded claim that legalization will eliminate 
the black market for pot - which it hasn't in the states that have 
done it so far.

And so much for the favored argument of potheads everywhere, which is 
that legalization is a financial boon because states can tax its 
sale. There's no pot tax here - in fact, this law would repeal the 
existing tax on medical marjiuana.

Bay State Repeal pats itself on the back for the initiative's focus 
on preventing minors from obtaining marijuana. But read the fine 
print (which most voters won't). On the penalty side of all this 
there are enough loopholes to drive a tractor-trailer overflowing 
with pot through. No voter should go along with this elaborate con.