What will be the economic impact of marijuana legalization?

‘Yes on 4’ advocates and state official clash over ballot referendum

By Stephanie Murray
@StephMurr_Jour

Photo from America's Weed Rush used under Creative Commons License.
(America’s Weed Rush)

When Massachusetts State Senator Jason M. Lewis boarded a plane to Colorado in January to study the impact of marijuana legalization as part of the Massachusetts Special Senate Committee on Marijuana, he didn’t have an opinion about the drug.

By the time he stepped off the plane back in Boston 10 days later, Lewis had made up his mind.

Marijuana legalization makes sense, he now says, but a ballot question is the wrong way to do it. Lewis would rather see marijuana legalized through the state legislature. He thinks there should be a higher tax on the drug and wants to avoid the commercialization and heavy marketing of edible products.

“I went into the work of the committee with an open mind about legalization in general. At that point, there wasn’t even a ballot question that had been put forward yet. That came later,” Lewis said. “After doing all of this work, I think legalization could be done in a way that would allow consenting adults to get access to safe, tested marijuana for their own personal consumption, but without commercializing marijuana.”

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