December 7, 2016

Legislative delays, medical safeguards high on legal marijuana to-do list

Sam Doran (SHNS / file photo)

Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo

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BOSTON — House and Senate leaders will make a decision in the coming weeks whether to push for a delay this month in key pieces of the marijuana legalization law without waiting for the next Legislature to come into session in January.

“We’ve had discussions about delaying some of the dates to give us more time to fine tune the bill, and in the next few weeks we have to make final decisions on that,” Senate President Stanley Rosenberg told reporter Monday, Dec. 5, after meeting with House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Gov. Charlie Baker.

Editorial: Why we were a ‘No’ on Question 4

The next Legislature will be seated Jan. 4. During informal sessions before then, any lawmaker can block a bill.

And now that voters have approved general adult use of marijuana, the Massachusetts Medical Society has shifted its focus from opposing legal pot to pressing for public health safeguards in the regulation of marijuana.

Rosenberg said there’s a “strong feeling” lawmakers should consider delaying the later deadlines outlined in the ballot law approved by voters on Nov. 8, but he also did not rule out pushing back the Dec. 15 legalization of marijuana use, possession and the home-growing of pot plants.

Watch: Baker, DeLeo and Rosenberg on legal pot delays, more

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