Recreational marijuana one step closer to being on 2016 ballot

If recreational marijuana is legalized in Massachusetts, it could be the fifth state to do so

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a question that many states, including Massachusetts, are facing: whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

A campaign that supports putting the question up for a ballot in 2016 has collected more than 100,000 signatures. Which means they’ve received more than the required amount of signatures for the question to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. “I mean, less people would be getting tickets because whether it’s legalized or not, people are still going to smoke,” said Barbara Emerson of Turners Falls.

If recreational marijuana is legalized in Massachusetts, it could be the fifth state to do so. So far, marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington State.

One Greenfield resident believes marijuana could be a gateway drug. “If you speak to someone in recovery, the majority of them, if not all of them, are going to tell you that one of the first things they tried was alcohol or marijuana,” said Meg Moriarty.

Justin McNary works at the Recover Project in Greenfield. He works with people fighting addiction every day and says legalizing marijuana for recreational use would set a bad precedent. “You demonstrating and modeling that behavior for young people; you’re putting your stamp of approval on it. Certainly there’s going to be advertising,” said McNary.

If marijuana is legalized for recreational use in the state, under this proposal, it’ll be regulated like alcohol.

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