This week, Massachusetts lawmakers will introduce a completely rewritten version of the voter-approved measure that legalized recreational marijuana in the state. The new version of the bill, which would substantially increase taxes and allow local officials to ban canna-businesses, was immediately criticized by marijuana advocates, who said that the new bill “insults voters.”
One of the most controversial aspects of the new bill is that local officials would be given greater powers to refuse canna-businesses who want to set up in their jurisdictions. The currently-approved law requires municipal officials to get approval from their voters if they want to ban marijuana businesses from opening on their turf. The new bill would do away with the vote, allowing any local officials to ban any cannabis-related business at their own behest.
Jim Borghesani, representative for the Marijuana Policy Project, said that this aspect of the new bill “insults voters,” because the “removal of ban authority from local voters will give a handful of selectmen the ability to overrule the opinion of their own constituents.”
While the original measure allowed a recreational pot…