Pubdate: Sun, 25 Nov 2012
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2012 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Steven S. Epstein


Regarding Tom Keane's insightful column, 'Pot problems: Voters are 
moving toward full legalization and the government needs to keep up' 
(Op-ed, Nov. 18), some history is in order.

The Massachusetts Legislature has had before it since 2009 legislation
that would end the state?'s prohibition that never should have been,
and would replace it with constitutional control of cannabis.

The Revenue Committee and the Judiciary Committee held hearings in the
186th session, and the Judiciary Committee dutifully held a hearing in
March of this year. In both sessions, the chambers sent the bill to
study. Which means that no one is studying it.

Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst) will refile the bill in the
upcoming session. Ruth Balser (D-Newton), Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead),
and Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) are expected to join her again as sponsors.

Many others should join them if the success of the nonbinding
questions on marijuana policy on the ballot in 2010 and this year are
registering with their colleagues.

This year, while voters overwhelmingly approved Question 3, voters in
two Senate districts and one House district overwhelmingly approved
nonbinding questions proposing constitutional control of cannabis. In
two House districts and the district of Senate minority leader Bruce
E. Tarr, voters loudly called upon Congress to repeal the federal
prohibition of marijuana, so that the states may regulate it as they
choose - a proposition that Ron Paul, Barney Frank, Michael Capuano,
and 17 others cosponsored as HR 2306 in the 112th Congress.

The question for Massachusetts' elected politicians is whether they
will act upon the handwriting on the wall.

Steven S. Epstein
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