That they don't need a quorum to take action.
The referendum passed. Time for the state to implement the law. The legislature in MA has much more opportunity to modify these things BEFORE they pass than in pretty much any other state. How is it that they have anything to say now, let alone any power to mess with the law? The commonwealth needs to implement the law that the people made. Full stop.
The law is largely irrelevant to how local governments operate here in Massachusetts. And the courts make up stuff too.
kind of astounding ... That they don't need a quorum to take action
Agree. In this situation, few people passed a state law. That shouldn't be possible.
Just FYI, the ballot question was a 'Initiative Petition for a Law'. Since it was approved it became a state law. But any law can be repealed or modified by the legislature and governor.
Welcome to Massachusetts where the state is controlled by a tiny number of senior legislators. Much be nice to live in one of the few districts where votes actually matter.
our elected officials would put as much effort into solving REAL problems as they do wrapping the will of the people in red tape.
Of course they are... anything to delay this.
Someone's palms need to be greased. They just need more time to figure out the who and the how to do it.
Are they really deciding who's going to get filthy rich, and who will get paid for hooking them up with the sweet deal?
Or are they thinking about the economic impact on bars, clubs, and packies?
....at what transpired when medical became legal for your answer. I don't have the numbers in front of me but to become a state licensed grower the APPLICATION fee was non-refundable and was extremely high, like $50k or something. Then they handed out something stupid like 5-10 licenses and guess who got them? Politically connected folks. One guy got multiple licenses to operate separate facilities. Again, I don't have the exact numbers or references at the moment but I was following this closely all those years ago and I remembered being disgusted at the results, as well as warning some potential growers that it wasn't worth their time to apply because that is what would happen.
This is VERY MUCH a stall to figure out who gets to make money from this. Individual stores, maybe not. It'll be like trying to open a liquor store, political pull will still help you but there will be a mostly transparent process (depending on the town I suppose). However, the real money is in distribution. The economy of scale on pot is kind of ridiculous. You can put marginal amounts of extra money into a say 200 sg foot green house than you would a 100sqft greenhouse and the return on that smaller investment is astronomical. Growing this stuff really isn't rocket science, it is closing in on the price of gold by weight. Imagine being able to just grow gold? That's what we are talking about, and not NEARLY as labor intensive as brewing beer or making any other alcohol, or the chemical processes involved with manufacturing hard drugs for that matter.
I really hope some politicians read this blog. All you are doing is leaving money on the table for the state. THATS IT. If we don't get stores opening until 2019 that is just 2 lost years and millions and millions of dollars the state doesn't get (sales tax, payroll tax on the workers, etc), and drug dealers get to continue making that money instead.
For the rest of us the best bet is to GROW YOUR OWN. Get a couple friends together, determine who has the best space for what and get your own little grow-op going. 2 adults living in a single home means you can have 12 plants. That is a lot! If you are always flowering those 12 plants you can provide for a dozen people, year round. Someone else can keep the mother plants and cut clones, a third person/couple can grow out 12 clones until they are ready to flower. You create a little assembly line see? Then guess what? The state STILL gets no money! Everyone wins?
They've already been bought off by the alcohol lobbyists. That and they are too lazy to do their jobs so they are screwing over the voters and taking their sweet ass time. Oh and they are costing us millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs from what will be a booming industry if they don't completely screw it up.
What a bunch of useless suits working in Beacon Hill. For months before the vote, Baker was asked about what was being done in preparation for the expected pass of Q4 and he shoved aside any questions as he and Marty, Maura, and every other paid for mouthbreather took money from everyone in the alcohol lobby all the way to the Catholic Church in their quest to snuff the will of the public with a campaign of disinformation and special interest pandering.
So now all it takes is a lightly attended session and a 2 hour notice to red tape this well into 2018 and probably 2019 realistically. If the will of the people doesn't line up with your Citizens United interests, just fuck the people I guess. Not like there is loads of information and resources from CO and WA that we could be using to help streamline and cheapen our transition. You can't pay these people enough to agree on anything on a normal work day but nothing the threat of Profits For People That Won't Kick Us Back to bring politicians together.
They listen to the fear mongering of the Catholic Church over the will of voters who, unlike the church, pay taxes and don't run a child molestation cartel.
They're stalling it long enough for Sessions and Trump's DEA to swoop down and shut all these programs down completely, returning us to the pointless (but profitable for cops and jails) war on drugs status quo.
Massachusetts is ruled by Democrats. Can't blame Trump for this one.
1/21/2017. Congress passes a law denying federal funds to states in which federally-classified substances are legal. Done.
We already don't get much back for our Federal taxes. We are a donor state, not a taker state.
The tax money from pot might be more, and under our control.
For well over half a century we've chosen to conduct a war on drugs that has wasted millions, if not billions of dollars. Involved millions of people in the criminal justice system and enriched many criminals and mobsters with what is a public health problem.
That these jokers unilaterally disregard the will of the voters on legalized Marijuana is simply outrageous.
After Martha Coakley vigorously opposed medical and it passed in a landslide, she got no support and some redneck in a pickup truck got to defeat her for Kennedy's senate seat. The Baker walloped her for Gov. Lets see that play out with Mahty, Chahlie, and Maurah....pack yer bags morons!
a big part of why she lost was because there was this huge air of "shes the democrat and it is her turn, dont worry, the little massachusetts sheep will do what they're told and vote correctly"
my memory is that she basically didn't campaign and didnt bother to seem appealing. meanwhile scott brown drove a pickup and talked about hockey and had photo ops or commercials with fishermen
it felt like she gave us the finger, and expected us to sit on it. to me, anyway, that is how it felt.
I'm so grateful that I live in an enlightened Blue State with elected officials who embrace their democratic duty to carry out the will of the electorate by forming a " bipartisan" committee to consider legislation to address "concerns" over the bill that said electorate voted for. Obviously they need time to perfect the law, so we need to be patient!
And people ask why I don't want to be a part of the system.
Voters can remember which politicians were acting against the will of the citizens, and never permit them to hold elected office again.
Keep voting for the same career pols who only care about lining their own pockets.
There is a reason that she has been pushed aside repeatedly.
The legislature was in what they call an informal session on December 28th; two senators and five representatives were present, however no roll call was taken and there is no readily available record of who was in chambers.
This questionable practice is used by our legislature to pass laws 'off the books'. The intent, as is often the case, was noble: Why put bills such as naming a day in honor of a local scout or changing the name of a small bridge before the entire body? Unfortunately it also is used when senators and reps want to ram something through quickly without being on record of supporting the measure.
I've asked my senator and rep point-blank whether they were there. We'll see what the response is.
Prompt response from my state senator:
Thank you for your email. No, I was not present for the informal on Dec 28th.
I vote against my reps in every election on principle--we just have no competition in Boston. Once you are in you are pretty much set as a politician. The primary is the election where we have a chance to change something and most of the time the incumbent is running unopposed. It is incredibly frustrating as a vote to have no choice. Personally, I think more parties is the answer but the people who run politics are the people who benefit and won't change things.
I have started doing the same thing. I downvote in uncontested races (fill in the write-in bubble but leave the line blank) and when the opponent is someone even worse than the incumbent, but no incumbent to date has done anything to earn my vote. And I have TRIED, I reach out, I call and write to their offices, I have even campaigned for a few (in some cases more than 30hrs/wk for free) and they still can't be bothered to respond to local issues because they're too busy being lickspittles for the next lobbyist-to-be whose boots they hope to fill next cycle.
Talk about being taken for granted. I'm sick to my back teeth of being expected to fall in line behind anyone with a (D) after their name, no matter how they ignore local issues or brazenly pocket money from companies that actively make their constituents miserable. Downvote 'em all and let the unemployment lines sort 'em out.
Paul Donato was involved with this, pushing his religious bullshit onto the lives of the rest of us yet again.
We have been trying to get rid of him for ten years. This obnoxious anti-Democratic stunt and the inevitable dying off of more and more of the braying sheep old people in this district (which keeps changing around to exclude younger people) may finally spell the end of his Holier Than Thou and Fuck You Gays bullshit.
Cuz there isn't enough research out there on this so let's waste everyone's time and money to do more. They have had years to figure this out. And the only ppl who are going to get rich from this are ppl that are already rich (and probably also opposed making it legal in the past).
Right now, since it is legal to possess and consume marijuana, there is an imbalance in the system where demand for a LEGAL PRODUCT can only be met by the criminal underworld. It's bad enough that the black market will flourish until legal stores open, but now said black market has an extra six months to send money back to violent cartels in other countries.
Nice job, hacks.
Hit the nail on the head.
If you think this is wrong, call or email Charlie Baker and tell him to veto this delay.
Here's what I wrote:
Dear Governor Baker:
The legislature, operating in informal session, has passed a bill to delay the process of making legal sales of marijuana available. Please veto this bill.
It is currently legal to possess and consume marijuana. However there is an imbalance in the system where demand for this LEGAL PRODUCT can only be met by the criminal underworld. Voting to delay the creation of a legal marketplace, encourages the black market, sending money, that SHOULD go to Massachusetts in tax revenue, to underworld cartels in other countries. This is bad for Massachusetts and should be vetoed.
Thanks for listening!
In my mind, this is a natural consequence of a complicated initiative. The text of Prop 4 was quite long, and it involved taxation, scheduling, access, process for local regulation, and then some. But that's not what people voted on -- in general, people voted on "should pot be legal for recreational use in MA: yes/no."
And that's the message the legislature heard -- that it should be legal. The legislature (correctly, IMO) understands that the rest of the details aren't important to the voters per se, and are fair game to tweak so that the actual roll-out is well organized, well regulated, and safe.
So look, I agree that the legislature isn't working hard enough to roll out the clear preference of the citizens w.r.t. Prop 4. But I also think that tweaking the details of the law, including the timing, is inevitable when citizens pass a complex law as a proxy to send a simple message.
foresight, and responsibility.
the writing was on the wall with this law passing. ignoring the fact that legalization is trending across the country, this particular election season was going to draw a lot of voters out.
i dont have any data to back this up but i'd assume there is a fairly decent overlap between anybody voting 'against trump' and those that would prefer to see legalized marijuana. seems like a recipe for that measure passing, to me. thats the foresight.
the responsibility part comes with taking that foresight and, to paraphrase a man of certain celebrity status in new england, 'doing your job'. have a modicum of pride in your work. in my mind there is little excuse for this initiative passing and this delay in implementing it. this wasn't a surprise party. if i displayed this level of willful ineptitude at my job, not only would i feel like an absolute turd, i would sincerely hope i worked for an organization with the gumption to terminate me.
then again, who knows. this is also hardly the year to talk about things being predictable during an election.
From one anon to another...
I get the point being made here but they could have at least done it out in the open during open session. They know people are paying attention, they know the lights will be on them. They also know that this is not a social cause like gay rights or women's health where a large base will come out to defend them. They pulled this maneuver in the full open air, in front of an audience that is paying attention on an issue that quite frankly could have been handled in public.
It is bad enough that they pulled this maneuver but even worse that they decided to do it so ham fisted.
I get the point being made here but they could have at least done it out in the open during open session.
(As the poster who posted about the inevitability of the legislature taking this reasonable action), I absolutely agree with the sentiment that it should have been done front and center, complete with a press release and legislators taking questions from the press.
Two thoughts on this: It could've been worse. Look, any of us that remember the Clean Elections and the Tax Roll Back realize this would happen. I'm thankful they only delayed 6 months, they could've done a lot worse given the nature of what we elect in this state.
Secondly: Maybe this will open up more people to what goes on in Beacon Hill. Maybe more people will realize that they do need to pay attention and not just let everyone else around then do all the work. The more people attuned to what goes on when no one is supposed to be looking, the better for all.
Looks like Baker is admitting his administration is too incompetent to implement this law as voters approved, as Colorado was able to (same 1 year timeline) as well as CA and others are.
If it's legal to possess and legal to grow, then is there a legal way to obtain seeds?
Some dispensaries and some indoor gardening shops have been featured in news stories recently for giving away seeds.
Here's one in North Cambridge: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2016/12/15/marijuana-legal-pot-grow-your-own-...
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