Massachusetts voters approve recreational marijuana

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BOSTON–Marijuana will be legal just to our north.

Massachusetts voters decided to pass a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana for residents who are 21 years or older. The measure passed with about 53.5 percent of the vote.

The new law, which takes effect December 15, also permits those over age 21 can also grow small amounts of marijuana at home–up to six plants for personal use.

The law states that you can have less than 1 ounce of marijuana on your person, and up to 10 ounces within one’s home.

“So many of the executive offices have to be engaged. Public safety, public health, the department of agriculture, and it all has to be internal, because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. So how the Division of Banks deals with this is essentially a cash business, which can impact individual banks because of our federal laws. There are a lot of complications and why I, myself, have been saying for several months that this is a more complicated issue than it can be directly regulated by a ballot question,” said Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg.

The state will tax the sale of marijuana by 3.75 percent, and towns and cities can add an additional 2 percent tax.

Marijuana is currently allowed for recreational uses in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. It was also legalized in California, Maine and Nevada on Tuesday.

A measures to legalize the drug was on the ballot Arizona too, but voters rejected the measure.

Marijuana remains illegal federally, but is legal for medical use in many states, including Connecticut.