Baker, Walsh team up against legalizing marijuana

By April 16, 2016 Recent News

Boston Globe 14 April 2016
Family First Comment: Republicans and Democrats agreeing!
“Where marijuana is legal, young people are more likely to use it and a vote against legalizing the commercial marijuana industry is a vote to protect our kids and communities.” The campaign will point to Colorado, where regulators have struggled with edible products — the marijuana infused candy, cookies, and colas that often look identical to their non-pot equivalent and can be appealing to kids. And they’ll trumpet a federal drug-use survey that found Colorado has the highest youth rate of marijuana use in the nation.

A triumvirate of the most powerful politicians in the state is teaming up in an all-out effort to stop a likely November ballot question that would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use.

Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston, and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo are set to announce Thursday that they are launching an anti-legalization campaign that also includes a coalition of doctors, law enforcement officials, and addiction specialists. The push will warn that approving the measure would increase marijuana use among youths.

The newly formed opposition group — the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts — sets the stage for a bitter and expensive battle this fall.

Deep-pocketed national pro-legalization forces have for years been planning the Massachusetts referendum campaign, which would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older, and allow retail sales beginning in January 2018. They are expected to gather enough signatures to win placement on the ballot, and they have a record of spending many millions of dollars to convince voters in states such as Colorado to support legalization.

But Baker and the other two political leaders, aides say, have committed to raise money for the anti-marijuana effort and make public appearances arguing against the initiative.

Baker, a Republican, said in a statement that he and the two Democrats are “in bipartisan opposition to legalizing a recreational marketplace for a drug that would put our children at risk and threaten to reverse our progress combating the growing opioid epidemic so this industry can rake in millions in profits.”
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