Pubdate: Mon, 07 Dec 2015
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2015 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.


It is highly unlikely that the Legislature will vote to "legalize" 
the recreational use of marijuana in Massachusetts anytime soon. Come 
January lawmakers will have six months to wrap up the work of this 
session and they struggle to get their acts together even on far less 
controversial bills.

But that won't stop a group of state senators from embarking on a 
week-long field trip to Colorado in January, to research that state's 
experience with legalizing the recreational use of pot.

Members of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana (yes, really) 
are perhaps anticipating the day when Massachusetts voters act on 
their own to authorize recreational marijuana use. Voters already 
legalized the use of marijuana for "medical" purposes, of course, and 
the implementation of that referendum was an utter disaster. 
Lawmakers might very well need to step in and clean up the mess if 
full legalization reaches the ballot in November, and passes.

But a trip to the Mile-High City isn't necessary when 20 minutes of 
Googling would glean some basic facts on the "Colorado experience."

Yes, Colorado has experienced a drop in marijuana arrests since 
legalization. Big surprise there. Make something legal and it becomes 
trickier to arrest people for it. Colorado is also getting slightly 
richer, collecting more than $77 million in marijuana tax revenue since 2014.

Beyond that, well, if they're so inclined senators can read about the 
pending lawsuits against Colorado from neighboring states that claim 
they are paying the price for increased marijuana trafficking and 
usage. Or peruse the reports that suggest an increase in marijuana 
use by Colorado teens.

Really, the only reason we can think of for senators to go to 
Colorado in person is to sample the product. They insist they have no 
such plans, so they ought to just stay home.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom