Is your head still spinning from the nonsense and shenanigans on Beacon Hill? Ours too, but of course that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop sharing critical info. This installment of Talking Joints Memo packs in way more links than usual, as this has arguably been the busiest stretch of day-after-day cannabis news since November.
We’re giving you a choice this week. If you want to quickly catch up on the latest news about how rival House and Senate rewrites of the Massachusetts marijuana bill are being negotiated behind closed doors by a ridiculous, unfit, and arbitrary group of lawmakers—who are supposed to emerge with a compromise by the end of this week—go straight to the “HELPFUL HEADY LINES” section and dig in.
If you want to retrace all the nitty gritty nuggets though, we are also including a “MASS HEADLINE DUMPSTER” with links to dozens of articles that came and went over the past week. Just because they are outdated doesn’t mean the public should forget about the cowardly maneuvers that some pols tried to pull (and in a few cases, that they’re still trying to pull).
But first, a few of the reactions that we heard from advocates in the immediate wake of the shameful House vote:
From Jim Borghesani, communications director for the Yes on 4 Coalition: "The House repealed and replaced the historic measure enacted by Massachusetts residents last November. They did it with virtually no public discussion or debate. Their bill is wrong on taxes, wrong on local control, weak on social justice and irresponsible on regulatory efficiency. Their proposed regulatory system is structured for the approval of three casino licenses, not hundreds of retail, manufacturing and cultivating licenses. This retrofitted casino bill is a far cry from what voters overwhelmingly approved last year.”
From Equitable Opportunities NOW!, a “group of advocates and activists concerned with racial equity and social justice in the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts”: “We are profoundly troubled by the dramatic changes made to the marijuana legalization law that the voters passed last November, specifically a change that allows people with past marijuana convictions and their “associates” to be banned from owning or working in a marijuana business.”
Chris Faraone, Editor-in-Chief