Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana in 2012. Today, MA voters made the decision to go entirely legal with recreational marijuana. The measure is called Question 4, and it will allow the state to regulate and tax the use and sale of marijuana.
Recreational marijuana laws in MA will closely mirror the way alcohol is regulated. This means people 21 and older will be allowed to purchase legal weed. You can have up to one ounce in public and ten at home. Just so you know, that’s over 500 joints worth.
Massachusetts Path To Recreational Marijuana
Before last night it was uncertain if Massachusetts would go recreational. The state seemed torn in two as about whether or not to go fully legal. In fact, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has openly opposed legalization, claiming that it is “not a path civil society should choose to take.” However, the people of MA have spoken and they seem to disagree with their Governor. In response to the Governor, the Boston Globe wrote “legal marijuana is coming. Let’s get on with it.”
Before their bold election move, Massachusetts residents could only receive legal medical marijuana if they were suffered from Cancer, Glaucoma, AIDS, Hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s, Crohn’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis. In fact, many patients with debilitating conditions may have found themselves unable to obtain medical Massachusetts marijuana.
“Marijuana legalization has arrived on the East Coast. What Colorado and other states have already done is generating revenue, creating jobs and reducing crime, so it’s not surprising that voters in more places are eager to end prohibition. The Bay State’s vote is just a sign of things to come.” – Tom Angell, Chairman of Marijuana Majority.
Recreational Marijuana’s Impact on Medical
With recreational marijuana becoming legalized will medical marijuana suffer? So far, in states with medical marijuana, patient counts are dropping.
A report by GreenWave advisors reveals that medical marijuana patient numbers take the biggest hits in states with recreational marijuana. One possible reason? People fake medical conditions to obtain legal weed. For example, someone could pretend to experience pain just to get their recommendation. In fact, chronic pain patients are the ones to drop the most in states that go recreational.
Once retail marijuana became available, the number of patients dropped in Oregon, Colorado, and Washington D.C. Some states don’t count their patients but they may have seen a drop in medical patients too.
Another reason for the drop in patient count is the fact that doctors are hesitant to give out recommendations. This is due to the illegal status of marijuana. So, some patients would rather skip the chance of being denied by a doctor. Going to the doctor can also be expensive for those without the proper health insurance. You’ll be giving more time and effort to obtain the same weed available at retail locations.
Congratulations to Massachusetts for legalizing marijuana. 3.3 million people in Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana and made a difference. The MA medical marijuana program is sure to take a hit but that won’t prevent residents from obtaining marijuana. What should states be doing with their medical marijuana programs after going recreational? People hardly benefit from getting their pot through a doctor once it becomes recreationally available.