Keller @ Large: Time To Reach Reasonable Compromise On Marijuana Rollout

BOSTON (CBS) – I’ve had my share of criticisms of the current state legislature.

I understood why they wanted a pay raise, didn’t think it was warranted, and certainly didn’t think it deserved the top priority they gave it.

And I think there’s big-time room for improvement in their budgeting priorities, when nurses and aides who provide direct care to the neediest among us go without raises they really deserve.

But all that said, the fact is that overall, this is a pretty reasonable bunch on Beacon Hill. As with the executive branch these days, there is little petty partisanship, and moderation usually prevails.

And today, the legislators can prove they deserve that praise by coming to a reasonable compromise on how to handle the rollout of legal marijuana sales in our state.

The two biggest issues are the tax rate, which the pro-pot industry crowd and the Senate set at about 12% and the House pegged at 28%, and the process for a community to ban pot stores, by public vote or a ruling of the city or town council.

As I wrote this last night the word I was getting was that they might split the difference on the tax rate and set it at 20%, which would put us in the middle of the pack of legal-pot states.

That seems reasonable; it can always be adjusted either way after they see how well the industry does.

I’m also hearing they may take the Senate’s position and allow voter approval of local pot stores, and while it would be cheaper to keep it to a governing body vote, that is not an unreasonable outcome.

Maybe the pot industry can make a donation to help defray voting-day costs.

Reasonable – that’s a good thing for a bunch of politicians to be these days.

Who wouldn’t want to see more of it?

Comments

One Comment

  1. The deal was there was going to be local control. The vote might have been very different without it. I could care less if they want to charge 0%, 20%, or a 80% tax because people who wanted this still would have voted for it and people who didn’t want it probably wouldn’t have been swayed too much by the state making (or not making) an obscene profit. Keep the local control – that’s what the voters approved.

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