BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The Massachusetts House has passed a revised version of the state’s recreational marijuana legislation.

The House began debating proposed changes to the voter-approved law that legalized recreational use of marijuana by adults late Wednesday afternoon and continued until about 10 p.m.

Speaker Robert A DeLeo stated, “This bill reflects a commitment to legalizing adult-use marijuana while upholding our duty to ensure safety and effective management. The House placed a premium on health and safety. In addition to the rigorous product testing and security measures, I believe that the independence of the Cannabis Control Commission will allow this new industry to be implemented in a safe and efficient manner.”

126 Representatives voted in favor of the bill, 28 against. It will now go to the Senate.

The bill will not revise any of the current rules around how much marijuana individuals can legally possess or how many plants they’re allowed to grow inside their homes.

But the bill does call for steeper taxes on recreational marijuana purchases when pot shops begin opening next year. The tax would be 28 percent, compared to 12 percent in the law approved by voters.

“You want to be high when you’re starting off regulating a new industry, you don’t want to be short on revenue,” said the bill’s sponsor, Mark Cusak, a Democrat from Braintree.

It would also allow for towns to prohibit dispensaries.

Most legalization advocates support the more modest revisions proposed in a Senate bill.

Outside the State House Wednesday, activists gathered to protest the changes.

Supporters of legalized marijuana say state lawmakers are trying to overturn last November’s pro-marijuana referendum with the high tax rate.

Peter Bernard, with the Massachusetts Marijuana Growers Advisory Council, says it’s about honoring the will of the people.

“The voters voted for this, and they need to respect us,” he said at a rally on Beacon Hill Wednesday. “Reach out and tell them to kill this bill.”

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mike Macklin reports

Comments (7)
  1. Marijuana tax should be the same as the tax on alcohol.

  2. Shamus Downs says:

    face it folks, your state leaders AGAIN under corrupt Deleo want this entire thing dead, but the best they can do in the public eye is basically change parts of ti so its not worth it anymore. This entire thing is a serious danger to Big Pharma, and Alcohol sales. They want Opiods too, and they need justification for funding to open clinics and for Pharma to keep making that substitute drug. If they allow this, they will screw not only themselves, but their “Buddies” who keep them elected and fund their campaign for re-election. All people revising this bill, HATE weed and could care less. Trust me folks you have EVERY right to protest, you voted for it, you almost had it if it were not for our severely and openly corrupt state leadership. They rather have people drinking and taking heroin then smoking weed. It also helps with locking people up, keeping prison beds filled to justify funding, and it justifies the ridiculous amount fo money they have been pouring into the “Probation” departments across the state while they hand down record cuts to education, and every other much needed resource. Deleo was let go on probation department corruption scandals to get votes…but his Mentor is in jail for a lifetime like the last 4 speakers before him. DO NOT think Deleo is any different.

    That is just “Buddies” helping “Buddies” in the state of MA. corruption so high it must never be discovered.

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