Thanks to Terry Franklin of UMASSCRC and 2009 MassCann/NORML Lifetime Achievement Award winner for writing this up.

There will be a hearing by the Mass. legislature’s Revenue Committee on H 2929*, ” An Act to regulate and tax the cannabis industry” on Wed. Oct. 14 at 10:00 AM in Room B2 of the State House.  

Identical legislation is filed in the Senate as S. 1801 is pending before the Committee on the Judiciary.

*  We provide you with a link to the Senate version as it is complete, the online version of H. 2929 in both htm and pdf is defective.

This bill allows those over 21 without fear of prosecution to cultivate cannabis for personal use and to give cannabis to others over 21 years of age.

Here is Dick Evans’ webpage on the bill:
http://www.cantaxreg.com

And Dick speaking about it in April:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_EggdnzOng

This is somewhat awkward, and even possibly confusing, because there is committee work going on simultaneously with the medical marijuana bill — a bill much more likely to pass — as well as on a number of other bills.

Still — the legalization bill (H 2929) is important to work on now, and there are things all of us can do.  This hearing has the potential to “get the buzz going” in the media on the issue — which can only have positive repercussions, including far beyond Massachusetts.  In addition, bringing focus on the bill will put pressure on the legislators with their constituents.  (Normally the practice would be for the legislators to avoid having to take a controversial stand, by letting the bill be tabled very quietly.)

Certainly anyone in the Boston area should try to show up at the hearing. Those who can’t, please write to:

State Senator Benjamin B. Downing, Chair
Joint Committee on Revenue
Room 413F
State House
Boston, MA 02133
and
State Representative Jay R. Kaufman, Chair
Joint Committee on Revenue
Room 34
State House
Boston, MA 02133
your legislators, and

 

to the “Letters to the Editor” page of your newspaper — big ones and small ones.  For those people elsewhere than Massachusetts — writing newspaper letters is something you too can do — this is a potentially national story — and should be covered (or at least mentioned *somewhere*) in the major national press outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today.

NORML has pre-written letters on the topic which you can edit and send via e-mail or printout and mail at
http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=12975651.

NORML also has an extensive database of media outlets.

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