Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Legalization More of the Same: Cash Cows and Cronyism

different kind of paperworkpublic domainMassachusetts became about the 21st state to legalize medical marijuana last November, when 63 percent of voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing, and regulating, medical marijuana. In a Massachusetts fashion, Tom Vannah at the Valley Advocate reports that the government is slapping dispensary applicants with hefty fees ($1,500+$30,000 for the first two rounds of vetting, non-refundable, plus an annual license fee of $50,000). Vannah also reports about some of the burgeoning cronyism in Massachusetts’ nascent medical marijuana industry. Via the Valley Advocate:

Among the applicants from Western Massachusetts-based non-profit organizations seeking licenses are at least two former state senators. Andrea Nuciforo, a Democrat from Pittsfield who ran unsuccessfully last year for congress after 10 years in the Legislature and six as Register of Deeds in Berkshire County, is part of a group hoping to open a dispensary in Amherst. Former Senate Minority Leader Brian Lees of East Longmeadow, a Republican who became Hampden County Clerk of Courts after leaving the Legislature in 2007, is part of a group in Springfield seeking a license. Lees’ group includes Heriberto Flores, president of the New England Farm Workers Council, and Mary Frey, wife of former Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett. Bennett, who actively opposed marijuana decriminalization in 2008, has acted as legal counsel for the Lees/Flores/Frey group, according to state records.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health received 181 applications for 35 dispensary licenses, the maximum it’s allowed to issue under restrictions in the ballot initiative itself.

More Reason on medical marijuana here.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Listen, do you want your marijuana or not?

  • Acosmist||

    This.

    "Decriminalize and tax the hell out of it" was the slogan, so, you know, this is what you guys wanted. How about actually legalizing it?

  • Goldwin Smith||

    What makes you think legalizing it will solve the problem?

  • SIV||

    People could then cultivate their own.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Why? Ending prohibition didn't make homebrewing legal.

  • SIV||

    Colorado legalized cultivation.
    In DC unregulated legal marijuana outpolled "taxed and regulated".

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Actually, it did. Homebrewing is not against any FEDERAL law. Repeal didn't end state prohibitions.

  • Acosmist||

    Because what I mean by "legalize" is the actual definition, not this "well kinda but the feds can always throw you in prison forever and also you have to do things exactly how we want" kind of thing.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    The second part pretty much defines every legal substance in the country?

  • SIV||

    Not a lot of folks doing hard time or facing civil forfeiture for growing heirloom tomatoes.

  • Paul.||

    The Massachusetts Department of Public Health received 181 applications for 35 dispensary licenses, the maximum it’s allowed to issue under restrictions in the ballot initiative itself.

    This is the way people write ballot initiatives now.

    They ask for permission from the government to do something, and then pinky-promise all over the initiative text that they'll be home before ten.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Are you really surprised that "decriminalize/legalize pot so we can tax and regulate the shit out of it" wasn't going to lead to Cash Cows and Cronyism?

  • Jaybirdmojo||

    I thought it might lead to the DEA kicking in fewer doors.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Ending prohibition didn't lead to moonshiners being left alone....

  • sarcasmic||

    It wasn't until the 1970s that the making of beer in your own home became legal.

  • SQRLSY One||

    When are they going to legalize me scratching my own Allah-forsaken butt-hole, without degrees and board certificates of Proctology, for Muhammad’s sake? PLEASE appeal this matter to Ayatollah Obozo?

  • Paul.||

    No, it just shifts the door-kicking to the code enforcement arm of the state and county. Who apparently now have SWAT teams of their own. Because codes.

  • Almanian!||

    Nice little pot dispensery ya got there...

  • Hugh Akston||

    Why in Galt's name would anyone live in Massachusetts?

  • Almanian!||

    John Kerry Hero Worship?
    "Always wanted to be a Kennedy...."?
    They like being called a Masshole?
    Retardation?

  • sarcasmic||

    Family. That's about it.

  • $park¥||

    This. Born here, and it's better than Connecticut.

  • ||

    Everyone knows that's laughable. You Masshole.

  • SIV||

    CLAMS?

  • Dweebston||

    Plenty of clams virtually anywhere you live. The bearded sort, anyway.

  • Paul.||

    Ot:

    For everyone who has gone to their kid's play or recital. It's truthy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vR4LeL0yzE

  • ||

    I initially read that as:

    "For everyone who has gone to their kid's play or rectal."

    I need Jesus in a big way.

  • ||

    It's easier to foreclose on deadbeats in MA than it is in CT, I can tell you that much for a fact.

    I had to deal with one of your CT judges who actually accepted a "sovereign citizens" argument once, just because it was a chance to stick it to my big evil bank. I had to waste time writing a rebuttal to it. Or rather, writing a sternly worded email to our local councel to write a rebuttal to it.

  • ||

    Hmm. This was supposed to be under Epi's comment at 6:29.

  • Paul.||

    It works here as well.

  • Dave Krueger||

    Luckily we live in the U.S. In other countries this is called corruption.

  • Paul.||

    In this country, it's called progress.

  • Ny Ny||

    I really can't believe that I just read this piece on here. MLK was a socialist and Reason is celebrating him? His vision of "freedom" was very different from ours. There was a time when Libertarians cared as much about anti-discrimination law as they did about the drug war.

  • SIV||

    Trolly, trolly

  • Hyperion||

    50k license fee? That's fucking ridiculous.

    It's just cronyism all the way down in the USA now. It is becoming where if there is any money to be made in anything, you have to be a political crony to get in on it.

    Time to put a stop to this shit.

  • Dweebston||

    And hilariously, people in voting blocs large enough to swing elections continue to buy the line that profit motive in business drives corruption in government, and thus we need less of the former and more of the latter.

  • Paul.||

    And hilariously, people in voting blocs large enough to swing elections...

    Why am I not laughing?

  • Dweebston||

    Probably because you're thinking rather than emoting.

  • LarryA||

    35 dispensary licenses

    So, one (1) license per every ten (10) Massachusetts towns and cities. Wow.

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