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Just hours after polls closed on Nov. 8, 2016, leaders on Beacon Hill began talking about ways they might change the ballot question that made marijuana legal for adult use in Massachusetts. In December, without notifying all members, a handful of lawmakers voted to delay the start of retail sales. Now, as a new session begins, House and Senate leaders have filed dozens of bills that would make major changes in the recreational marijuana law.
Here's a summary of key points in bills filed by Sen. Jason Lewis and Rep. Hannah Kane.
Supporters of the recreational marijuana law vowed to fight against most of these changes.
"People are seeing this as a direct attack on Question 4, a substantial revision of a new law that was passed by 54 percent of the voters," said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Yes on 4 coalition. "People are very upset about the scope of this legislation."
Rep. Kane said this is not an attempt to invalidate the will of the voters.
"I do not have a philosophical concern with legalization," Kane said. "What I've attempted to do here is to ensure that we've taken into consideration some of the public health, public safety and local control concerns that we had when talking to people about the ballot question."
Sen. Lewis said he doesn't think Massachusetts voters intended to approve all the details of the ballot question, such as how many plants would be legal at home or the number of commission members.
"What I believe the people voted for was to make it legal and safe to possess, use, purchase, sell and cultivate marijuana," Lewis said. "Everything I've filed in the bills is consistent with that."
Hearings on the law and proposed changes are expected to begin in February.