Massachusetts Legalization Advocates Facing Uphill Battle

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Massachusetts marijuana advocates are facing an uphill battle after the state’s attorney general openly said she’s against full legalization and a Boston city councilor introduced a proposal that would make it illegal for cannabis shops to open near each other.

Attorney General Maura Healey said though she supported decriminalization of a small amount of marijuana, she’s against full legalization, a conclusion to which she came after speaking with attorneys general in Colorado and Washington. Massachusetts is among states that will likely have full legalization on the 2016 ballot, after voters in 2012 passed medical marijuana referendums.

In a move unrelated to Healey’s comments, Boston city councilor Michael Flaherty filed an amendment to the city’s zoning code that would prevent marijuana shops from opening within 2,500 feet of each other to avoid areas becoming “the land of the living dead,” according to the Boston Herald.

Massachusetts has had its share of troubles getting its MMJ industry of the ground despite voters legalizing more than two years ago. The process by which dispensary licenses were distributed was flawed from the start, which could eventually lead to lawsuits against the state, the Boston Herald said in a report.

The state’s first dispensary is supposed to open this spring.