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Massachusetts: House Moves Forward With Tax Hike — Tell Lawmakers No More Changes to Question 4

Massachusetts Question 4

Update: The House members reintroduced and passed their version of the Question 4 rewrite on June 21, by a vote of 126 to 28. The bill, which NORML opposes, raises taxes of marijuana sales to as much as 28 percent and also gives municipal officials, rather than voters, final say in deciding whether to have retail facilities in their neighborhoods. The House vote sets up a showdown with the Senate, which is deliberating over their own much more modest implementation bill — one that is supported by the Yes on 4 campaign. Contact your legislators via email below or click here to find your representatives and give them a call to express your support for the Senate version and opposition to the House bill. 

Update: A coalition of groups including MassCann/NORML held a "Kill The Bill Rally at the capital on June 21. 

Update: The Senate released their own version of new rules on June 16 which is supported by the Yes On 4 campaign. 

“The House bill repeals the will of the voters–literally,” Jim Borghesani of the Yes on 4 campaign told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens. “They repeal what happened in November of 2016, and replace it with a bill that would be unworkable and that would likely result in significant delays.”

Update: House leaders abruptly pulled the bill from the calendar after hearing complaints from constituents.

Update: Governor Charlie Baker has expressed skepticism regarding the proposed tax increase.

You have spoken. Are your elected officials listening?

On Election Day, 54 percent of voters decided in favor of Question 4: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act – permitting adults to legally grow and to possess marijuana for personal use, while also establishing regulations governing commercial cannabis cultivation and capping taxes on retail sales.

Your message could not have been any clearer: It is time to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.

But it has become apparent that some powerful politicians and bureaucrats wish to ignore voters’ will and rewrite history.

Lawmakers have already unduly delayed the implementation of the law. Now they are moving to change the law altogether.

Members of the House  have introduced and passed legislation significantly amending The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. Among proposed changes to the law:

  • The bill would more than double taxes on retail cannabis sales, from 12 percent to as much as 28 percent.;
  • The bill would strip local control away from municipal voters and unilaterally give local government officials the power to decide whether or not to ban marijuana facilities in their communities;
  • The bill would restrict the kinds of marijuana edibles products that may be sold and purchased by adults.

The arrogance and hubris lawmakers are showing toward voters is shocking, and is typified by the comments of Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg who earlier this year pronounced: “I believe that when voters vote on most ballot questions, they are voting in principle. They are not voting on the fine detail that is contained within the proposal.”

It’s time for you to send another clear message to your lawmakers: Abide by voters’ decision or suffer the consequences.

Voters knew full well what they were voting for on Election Day. And now it is time for politicians to respect it.

Visit Massachusetts NORML to learn more about what you can do in your state.

Please use the pre-written letter below to demand lawmakers and Gov. Baker abide by the will of the voters. Tell the Senate to reject the House rewrite bill.

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