Massachusetts’ Legal Marijuana Climate Is Changing [OPINION]
Since marijuana was legalized for recreational use by the voters in 2016, the legal landscape has been shifting in the Commonwealth. Now more change is coming.
The state's highest court and the Cannabis Control Commission have been reviewing the laws and regulations that govern the new world of marijuana consumption.
This week the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that police can arrest a person operating a motor vehicle if the officer believes the individual is under the influence of marijuana. This is a smart decision and one that will protect the legal use of marijuana by adults in the long run.
There was a haze around what police could do when they smelled burnt marijuana coming from an automobile due to a previous state court ruling. Tying the hands of the police when it comes to impaired drivers is a foolish policy. People who drive stoned are a danger to the public. They are also a danger to the current law because people will not tolerate a legal climate that allows people to drive impaired on legal marijuana.
The Cannabis Control Commission has been busy working on the questions not yet settled on the consumption of the plant. The commission has been discussing the idea of allowing businesses to sell marijuana to be consumed on site by the public. The commission's advisory board is in favor of creating licenses for businesses the way the state currently allows alcohol to be consumed in business establishments.
The Cannabis Advisory Board to the Cannabis Control Commission is also recommending the state create a one-day license for the marijuana use at events like festivals or weddings. This would be in line with the long-standing rules that allow one-day liquor licenses in the state.
There are 25 individuals on the advisory board including people from law enforcement and from the cannabis industry.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.