Competing legalization measures filed in Massachusetts

A pair of cannabis advocacy groups separately filed paperwork on Wednesday to get full marijuana legalization on the 2016 ballot in Massachusetts.

But the outcome is anything but certain, given that the two groups will likely be fighting each other as much as they will cannabis opponents, according to the Boston Globe.

One group, called the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, wants to establish a tightly controlled system of growth and distribution, along the lines of Colorado and Washington. The campaign is backed by the Marijuana Policy Project.

The other, Bay State Repeal, focuses more on free-market economics and a libertarian ideology that opposes, for example, a limit on the number of recreational business licenses. It also opposes “excessive taxation, excessive fees, expensive-to-comply-with Byzantine mandates,” and other such restrictions, according to a press release.

While the first group filed a single ballot measure with the state, Bay State Repeal filed three, with the intent of only collecting signatures for the one it deems the most likely to succeed.

It’s not clear yet what kind of chances both organizations have of making the ballot, though that “is technically possible,” the Globe reported.

The two campaigns are already taking potshots at each other.

In the Globe story, a Bay State Repeal spokesman said the competing campaign is equal to “the creation of a brand-new bureaucracy” and is “intolerable.” The communications director for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol shot back that its initiative is more palatable to voters.

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