Massachusetts has now become the first state in the eastern part of the country to legally permit adult use of cannabis. After the Tuesday’s approval, the state, together with California, Maine, and Nevada, has joined Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington that currently use marijuana recreationally.
According to the New York Times, unofficial preliminary results show that 53% of voters approved the passing of Question 4, while 47% were against this ballot measure.
The state voters have made the right decision despite the strong opposition from Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, and other leading officials. Besides, most of the religious and business leaders had also not supported the adult use of marijuana. Opponents expressed concerns that the legalization of weed for adult use of would be dangerous to the public health and safety.
However, marijuana advocates stated that the marijuana proposition would divert money from black market to licensed companies that could improve the health conditions of adult users.
The approved law will come into force on Dec. 15, allowing adults aged 21 and older to consume marijuana legally. In addition, full-aged residents of Massachusetts will be permitted to possess up to 10 ounces of weed and cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants at home.
Retail shops can open their businesses not earlier than Jan. 1, 2018, and currently the state is creating a Cannabis Control Commission to maintain control over the new industry.
Despite the approval of the weed measure, some things in the state are likely to remain unchanged. Cannabis users will not be allowed to consume marijuana in public places the same as tobacco smokers. In addition, if you are a tenant, your landlord may prohibit you to smoke a pipe in your home.
Arizona was also among the states that voted on the legalization of marijuana use, but the measure was rejected.