If you live in Boston, you probably have heard that your city is about to change its marijuana laws.
That’s because, in the past few months, the state’s attorney general has opened an investigation into the city’s medical marijuana program, and state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana.
The governor, who’s also running for re-election, has called for a statewide referendum on the legalization question.
And the mayor, who also wants to become the state attorney general, has announced his own plan to legalize recreational pot in Boston.
But for all the attention on this issue, there’s a lot more to it than just legalization.
In this series, we take a look at the legalization issue in a way that’s easy to digest and not necessarily easy to explain.
In our next installment, we’ll talk about the political history behind the legalization push.
Why Boston’s Marijuana Lawsuit Is So Big for Boston The marijuana industry in Massachusetts has long been a hotbed for political corruption.
The Globe’s Michael P. O’Sullivan reported in 2013 that at least nine prominent Boston political figures, including two former city council members, were indicted on corruption charges, which were later dropped.
In 2014, the Boston Globe reported that the governor had personally paid a $200,000 bribe to a local politician to get him to drop his lawsuit against the city.
And that same year, the Globe reported how the city paid a former city attorney more than $700,000 to settle a lawsuit that he was filing against the mayor.
The problem is, these are only a few examples of what can happen when politicians abuse their power to gain influence.
So, what’s the problem?
How did a city with a thriving marijuana industry become a hot spot for political abuse?
We decided to look at some of the issues that led to the city of Boston’s decision to become one of the first states in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Who’s behind this initiative?
In June 2014, a group of former Boston police officers, some of whom had served in the department for decades, filed a lawsuit against Mayor Marty Walsh, claiming that he had engaged in a pattern of abusing his power.
They argued that Walsh’s abuse of power resulted in them being forced to violate the city code of conduct by not reporting corruption.
In May 2016, a judge ruled in favor of the officers, but the judge ruled that Walsh had acted in good faith and that he didn’t need to answer questions about the misconduct of his predecessor, Mayor Thomas Menino.
Now, the case is on appeal, and the officers are appealing the ruling.
As a result, it’s possible that the case could come back before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which could decide the matter in a few months.
If that happens, we’d love to hear from you.
What we want to know is how the case will affect your marijuana use in Massachusetts.
In January 2018, the city filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the officers were entitled to immunity from prosecution and had not shown that Walsh abused his authority.
But the case has been appealed and Walsh has not yet agreed to a settlement.
And in the meantime, the police union is still calling for Walsh to resign.
If the officers want to pursue their case, they’ll have to wait until the next election year.
How does the case compare to other cities in Massachusetts?
As the Globe’s Piers Morgan recently pointed out, the cases are similar in scope.
In fact, the City of Boston is suing the state of Massachusetts over marijuana legalization in a case called the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Program and the City and County of Boston.
Both cases involve a medical marijuana dispensary in Boston that has been operating illegally.
And both cases involve the use of police officers.
In both cases, the officers in question, according to the Globe, were accused of stealing $10,000 from the dispensary and selling it to the highest bidder, which is why they were arrested.
The city has also filed suit against the Massachusetts state legislature over the state legislature’s failure to pass legislation that would have made marijuana legal in the state.
And we’ll be following all of this case closely over the coming months.
In the meantime (and as noted above), the city has been suing the Massachusetts legislature over marijuana reform, and it’s unclear whether the city will succeed.
We’ll be keeping you up-to-date on the case as it unfolds.
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