MASSACHUSETTS CANNABIS CONVENTION RESOLVES THAT NON-COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA CULTIVATION AND PERSONAL USE IS A GOD GIVEN RIGHT
ALSO CONCLUDED DEEP PURPLE TO BE RAD
Last Saturday, the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann) held their first convention--gathering various organizations and members of the cannabis reform community above Bar None in Worcester to discuss the advancement of legalization. What was resolved between attendees which also including reform groups LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), and medical marijuana advocates, Mass Compassion, was that the “non-commercial cultivation [of marijuana] for personal use is a human right and is not to be taxed.”
MassCann attorney, Steven Epstein, explained “what led to that conclusion was a discussion of what the ideal–to the cannabis consumers (which most of everybody [in attendance] was)–statutory regime would ledbe.” Within some 90 minutes of debate, however, the only only point that was voted on was the resolution itself. “We could not build a true consensus on what the [legal] age of use should be and all the other details of what an ideal legislative regulatory regime would be.” Epstein said.
Though Mass Compassion organizer Mike Allen was on hand medical marijuana reform, their platform is different from the conventions leaders’ ultimate goal of legalization and was not a heavily focussed on point of discussion. “It seemed to me the plurality of people there did not want to expend a great deal of their time and effort on medical marijuana legislation other than to make sure it is the best possible as opposed to something that is restrictive.” Epstein said. “Because if we push for legalization, maybe we’ll get a good [medical] marijuana bill.”
“If we just support the existing medical marijuana proposals, we could end up with a bad medical marijuana bill.”
Attendees of the convention also shared official results of this past election’s Legalization Public Policy Questions that appeared in one Senate and eight House districts across the state in which MassCann reports ‘a majority of the over 200,000 voters polled support regulation and taxation of cannabis commerce in Massachusetts.’ Despite the results in favor of both medical marijuana and legalization reform, Epstein does not feel optimistic over state legislature. “If the past is the prelude to the future, then we have no expectation–no reasonable expectations the legislature will do a thing.” He said. “People that want to see a lot of change can pester their politicians on Beacon Hill, and hope that a ballot question committee can be formed.”
No plans have yet been decided for the 2011-2012 session of Mass. legislature by MassCann. Epstein stated that “there’s a lot of additional research that needs to be conducted before we can figure out weather we go for the ideal in the next two years or if we go for something shorter of our ultimate goals.”