A bill that would legalize the possession of and commerce in marijuana got a hearing at the Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary Tuesday. While even the bill’s sponsor conceded it was unlikely to pass, it helps lay the groundwork for a proposed marijuana legalization initiative down the line.
Marijuana possession was decriminalized by popular vote in 2008, but people can still be fined and have their marijuana seized, and marijuana commerce remains illegal.
The bill, House Bill 1371, sponsored by Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst), would legalize marijuana and “establish a tax on the cannabis industry.”
“The state needs to make money,” Story told her colleagues in the committee. “This would allow the state to benefit from marijuana by regulating it.”
READ MORE: Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets Hearing
The Daily Chronic, March 8, 2012