Historic vote in Massachusetts legalizes recreational marijuana

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) — It wasn’t just the president and local politicians on the ballot Tuesday. Some states also had ballot questions to change or even to add laws. In Massachusetts, question four passed: Legalizing recreational marijuana.

A historic vote in Massachusetts means head shops could soon be selling more than just accessories.

After heading to the polls Tuesday, the people of Massachusetts decided to legalize recreational marijuana.

“We are excited about it, hoping we can find a way to branch out and expand in the industry,” said owner of a head shop, Sean Graham.

Graham and Matthew Meandro own shire glass, a head shop in Great Barrington.

They opened the business in 2014 after seeing a successful trend in Colorado.

“We did see this thing starting to build momentum and we really wanted to be a part of it,” Meandro said.

With the law passing, people over the age of 21 can possess, distribute and grow marijuana legally, but there are still a lot of details to work out.

“It’s not quite been 24 hours and we don’t quite know what the state regulations will be,” said Mayor Linda Tyer.

Down the road in Pittsfield, Mayor Tyer says she’s ready to work to protect rights under the new law while keeping people safe.

“Local boards of health will also have some power and authority to implement certain regulations in local communities,” said Tyer.

Among other things, the law will allow people over 21-years-old to possess ten ounces of marijuana inside their homes and an ounce in public. It would also let people grow up to six plants in one location.

“It will ease law enforcement problems and hopefully clear up the court systems and those kind of things and just make it easier for everyone,” said Graham.

A commission will be set up to oversee the law.

“Then we see how those rules are going to interact with local governments, well get a better idea,” said Meandro.

Right now, the thought is regulations will follow other plans already in place.

“It’s my hope that the state will help us by developing regulations similar to those hat we have in place for alcohol,” Tyer said.

“If we can take that structure and apply it to marijuana, it’s just going to streamline the transition,” Meandro said.

The law goes into effect in Massachusetts on Dec. 15.


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