Pubdate: Thu, 07 Jul 2016
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2016 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.


The state's highest court in its latest ruling took it upon itself to 
actually rewrite the title and the summary that will inform voters 
about the impact of a ballot question to legalize the sale of 
recreational marijuana in this state.

Now, silly us, but you'd think if something needed that much 
rewriting to adequately explain it, well then maybe it shouldn't be 
on the ballot at all - that maybe something so flawed at the 
petition-signing stage should have to start from scratch.

And that maybe the Supreme Judicial Court engaged in a vast overreach 
here to "ensure" - however belatedly - "that the information provided 
to voters ... is fair, neutral, and accurate."

But the SJC gave the ballot question itself a legal pass - along with 
Attorney General Maura Healey, who certified it for inclusion on the 
November ballot.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice Ralph Gants called the original 
statement summarizing the impact of the law "misleading."

"We are disappointed that the Attorney General's summary did not 
include a fair and neutral statement that marijuana products under 
the proposed act include, among other things, food and drink items 
that contain marijuana or marijuana concentrate to ensure that the 
electorate understands that 'marijuana products' include edible products."

So now the petition, newly retitled by the court "Legalization, 
Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana" will include the court's 
version of a summary, specifically mentioning edibles - perhaps the 
most problematic part of the business, if the Colorado experience is 
any example. So at least voters will now be aware that they are 
approving not just the sale of smokable weed but of high-potency 
marijuana gummy bears and lollipops and candy bars. Yep, you name it 
and someone has figured out how to spice it up - and make a buck off it.

But that's an argument for another day. Or as the chief justice put 
it, a day when voters "will have the benefit of what will surely be a 
spirited public debate."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom