New Scientist, 11 August 2018 14:15:47It is now illegal to grow, possess or transport cannabis in Massachusetts.
But the government is trying to change that, with an official announcement of legislation which would make the possession of up to one gram of cannabis illegal.
The bill, introduced by Republican Senator John Allen of Middlesex, would make possession punishable by a fine of up, up to two years in jail and a $1,000 fine for up to five offences.
“Cannabis has become a gateway drug to more dangerous and addictive substances,” Allen said.
“It’s not just about the harms it causes.
It’s also about the social consequences.
Cannabis is a gateway to heroin, alcohol and a host of other drugs.”
The proposed legislation has the support of the New England Coalition to End Marijuana Prohibition, which is calling on the governor to sign it.
It would make cannabis possession a class A felony punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine up to $10,000, with up to a year in jail for repeat offenders.
The legislation has also been backed by a number of state-level leaders, including New England’s governor, Maggie Hassan, and Attorney General Maura Healey.
It’s unlikely the bill will be signed by the governor as it would need to be passed by the legislature and signed by President Donald Trump.