SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Voters could decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts in 2016. Some say legalization in the Commonwealth could create a ripple effect in neighboring states.
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg told 22News Massachusetts has been called a catalyst in the past. “Massachusetts has been a bellwether state on a lot of issues, we’re the largest state in New England, so at least a bellwether for New England, but this would be decision of the voters,” he said.
Voters could get to choose a side on the issue in less than a year. The Committee to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol is on track to get a nonbinding question on the state ballot in 2016.
A Colorado-based group called Sage Analytics said Massachusetts could become a catalyst for the entire East Coast.
We asked Mauric Doion of Connecticut what he thinks, and he told 22News Connecticut’s economy would have to find some way to compete if people were crossing state lines to get marijuana legally. “Think of the money they’d be losing because people would cross the border to get it if it’s legalized and they’re able to smoke it legally,” he said.
Colorado collected nearly $70-million in marijuana taxes last fiscal year, doubling the revenue they collected from alcohol taxes.
A group of ten state senators will travel to Colorado next month to research the impact legalization could have in Massachusetts.
Senator Stan Rosenberg said the trip to Colorado is being funded by the Millbank Memorial Fund. No state money will be used.