A new cannabis legalization initiative has been approved in Massachusetts and it could become the first state to make the sale of marijuana legal in a way similar to alcohol.
The Massachusetts General Court has approved an initiative that would allow people 21 and older to grow up to four plants of cannabis.
It would also require that dispensaries selling cannabis be located in designated areas, and it would allow for limited amounts of the plant to be grown on public land.
It’s also a significant step in a long-simmering movement to decriminalize cannabis in Massachusetts, which has been plagued by racial and social inequalities and has seen violent crime and overdose rates soar.
Read more about the ballot initiative: Legal remedy brewing: The initiative would allow anyone 21 and over to possess up to six ounces of cannabis or cannabis products, or grow up a limited amount.
It also would allow adults over the age of 21 to buy cannabis in private shops, and to cultivate cannabis themselves.
The proposal also includes a provision allowing for the sale and possession of cannabis-infused food.
The ballot measure is similar to a proposal proposed in Alaska and Oregon, but is not directly comparable to either, the Associated Press reported.
It requires that cannabis-based products be sold in designated locations, and allows the sale to be made at retail stores only.
The state has had mixed results on the issue.
The Alaska initiative was rejected by voters in 2016, but it was approved by voters again in 2018.
The Oregon initiative was approved in a November ballot measure.
In both cases, it was a measure that was designed to be vetoed by the governor, not the legislature.
Marijuana legalization in Massachusetts is likely to face an uphill battle in the state Senate.
The governor’s approval is contingent on passing a law that establishes a system of tax collection, licensing and testing for cannabis, and establishing a cannabis regulatory board.
That’s a process that would likely take several years.