Bay State Repeal, a new political activist organization aimed at framing a ballot initiative for 2016 to repeal cannabis prohibition, has been launched with a new website and a round of publicity and media appearances.

The following is a press release sent out by Bay State Repeal:

Reading, MA – Bay State Repeal filed the necessary paperwork with the state earlier this week to form a ballot question committee seeking repeal of the state’s marijuana prohibition. Bay State Repeal is lead by local veteran advocates for marijuana law reform with decades of experience in Massachusetts politics. With voter attitude evolving rapidly and the deadline for filing over 21 months away the exact wording of the proposed initiative is a work in progress.

Bay State Repeal’s intention is to construct the nation’s simplest and least restrictive plan for marijuana law reform focused on preventing non-medical distribution to children. To explore public opinion, Bay State Repeal intends to present a variety of public policy questions around the state in the election of 2014.

Committee member Terry Franklin of Amherst explains, “Recent initiatives in other states resulted in overly burdensome rules and excessive costs to businesses and consumers to support bureaucrats and present grave danger of political collusion and monopolistic practices. Our objective is to nip such restrictiveness in the bud.”

Committee member Bill Downing of Reading, who currently serves as Treasurer of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann/NORML) notes that “in 2011 a DAPA Research poll of registered voters commissioned by MassCann/NORML found 58% support for legalizing marijuana and regulating it in the same manner as other agricultural commodities with sales prohibited to underage persons.”

Committee member Attorney Steven Epstein of Georgetown has spent parts of four decades advocating for marijuana law reform. He hopes that, “the Legislature, or if it fails to act the voters on Election Day 2016, will replace prohibition with a law that treats the adult cultivation and commerce in marijuana as the herb it is and punishes the non-medical distribution to children. It will also free Massachusetts farmers to produce raw materials for bio-fuels, textiles, paper, construction and insulation materials, plastics and composites, foods, body-care products and industrial oils.”

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