Marijuana would be taxed and regulated like alcohol under a bill being backed by more than a dozen Massachusetts lawmakers.
The bill would let adults 21 years or older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.
The proposal would also create a regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, processing facilities and testing facilities.
The bill is being pushed by the Marijuana Policy Project. The group says it plans to put a question on the 2016 ballot to regulate and tax marijuana if the bill fails to win support on Beacon Hill.
The bill is sponsored by two Democrats, Rep. David Rogers of Belmont and Sen. Pat Jehlen of Somerville. It's co-sponsored by 13 other lawmakers.
Jehlen told WBUR that voters have already approved two ballot questions that loosen restrictions on marijuana.
"It seems like a good idea to put it through the legislative process, to have hearings to really vet the wording of what's passed in a public and thoughtful way," she said.
She said that the recent problems licensing medical marijuana dispensaries shows the trouble of legislating by ballot initiative.
With reporting from the WBUR newsroom and The Associated Press.
This article was originally published on March 13, 2015.