History Of CBD And Cannabis: Massachusetts
In early 2016, voters weighed in heavily in favor of complete marijuana legalization in Massachusetts. This was over a century after the state became one of the first to start regulating the sale of cannabis.
Over the past twenty years, Massachusetts voters have seen an incredible turn around in opinion concerning cannabis. Now, a majority of residents believe that cannabis is relatively benign and can provide health-boosting applications. During the height of the War on Drugs, this sentiment couldn’t have been more opposite.
Cannabis, CBD, And Massachusetts
In 1911, Massachusetts was the only state to throttle cannabis sales at the regional level, completely barring the sale of marijuana for users without a doctor’s recommendation. Ultimately, this was due to recent nationwide rhetoric that posited marijuana use led to violence, family troubles, and insanity.
By November of 2008, Massachusetts voters opted to pass a ballot that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Under the new law, users could carry strictly no more than one ounce; otherwise, they would incur a fee of $100 with no additional jail time or criminal record. Interestingly, the bill made an addendum for minors, where they would be forced to complete community service and notify their parents.
Before decriminalization went into effect, those charged with mere possession were fined $500 and could be slapped with six month jail sentences. The bill passed since it was projected the provisions would save the state up to $130 million every year. One study that showed convictions for possession had little impact on drug use ended up swaying many of the local legislators.
By 2012, 63 percent of Massachusetts voters approved a medical marijuana initiative, that eliminated all penalties relating to possession for qualifying patients. Additionally, patients with a doctor’s recommendation could get access to participating dispensaries.
Just four years later, recreational cannabis became legal in the state. By December of 2016, individuals were finally allowed to purchase, grow, and carry strictly no more than one ounce of cannabis.
In the meantime, CBD has been legally sold and regulated by the Department of Agriculture and participating health organizations.
These new policies have both saved millions and generated massive revenue for the state, resulting in more funding for social welfare programs. Residents and legislators are continuing to build cannabis and CBD friendly policy together. Massachusetts represents the radical transformation that can occur in just a handful of years among voters.