With only a week until Election Day, we continue our coverage of state ballot initiatives proposing to legalize recreational marijuana use:
MASSACHUSETTS: Massachusetts’ Question 4 would permit people 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in public and up to 10 ounces at home. Massachusetts residents would be able to grow up to six plants and give one ounce or less of marijuana to a person at least 21 years old without payment. A Cannabis Control Commission would regulate legal marijuana commerce.
A city or town could hold a local vote to determine whether to permit the selling of marijuana and marijuana products for consumption on the premises at commercial establishments. That would mean that if state marijuana regulators choose to license cannabis cafes for on-site consumption, local referendums would determine whether cities or towns could host them.
Employers could still prohibit the consumption of marijuana by employees in the workplace.
The measure would impose an additional 3.75% to the state’s 6.25% sales tax, for a total tax rate of 10%. Localities can ban legal marijuana commerce or add local taxes.
If it passes, the law will take effect December 15, 2016.
A recent poll by WBUR/MassINC Polling Group shows increasing support for legalizing recreational marijuana on Election Day. Fifty-five percent of likely Massachusetts voters said they favor allowing adults to use recreational marijuana versus approximately forty percent who oppose the measure. There is also citizen support for stores selling marijuana. Fifty-nine percent of poll respondents said it would not bother them if a store selling recreational marijuana opened in their community.
Likely Massachusetts voters were also okay with people using marijuana at home: Eighty-four percent said they would not be bothered by people using marijuana inside their home.
NEVADA: The Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana, or Question 2, would allow adults aged 21 or older to possess, consume, and cultivate marijuana for recreational use. Individuals could possess up to an ounce and grow up to six plants at home — if that residence is more than 25 miles away from a licensed dispensary. Cannabis consumption would be restricted to private premises, which could include a retail marijuana store.
The initiative would impose a 15% excise tax on wholesale marijuana sales, with revenue from the tax being spent on enforcing the measure and schools. Retail sales will be subject to the regular state sales tax. It would also authorize and regulate marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and distributors.
Likely Nevada voters narrowly support Question 2, according to a poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Forty-seven percent of respondents support the ballot measure according to the poll of 800 likely voters by Bendixen & Amandi International between October 20 and 23. Forty-three percent oppose the measure, and ten percent said they are still undecided or didn’t answer.