MARIJUANA

Marijuana.
File photo / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

The Massachusetts House had planned to vote last week on a bill making substantial changes to the voter-passed recreational marijuana law. But after quick objections to the bill -- and an issue with how it was written -- Speaker Bob Deleo delayed that vote.

Marijuana.
File photo / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

The Massachusetts House has delayed a vote scheduled for Thursday on changes to the state’s marijuana law. There were problems with the bill's language and plenty of criticism of some of the proposed changes to what voters okayed last year.

The ballot question law has not been fully implemented, but possession of small amounts of pot has been legal for adults since mid-December. Police across Western Massachusetts tell us that -- so far -- little has changed.

Marijuana activists celebrated outside the Mass. State House on Dec. 15, 2016, the first day pot became legal in the Bay State. Here, Ellen Brown holds a handful of pot.
Gintautas Dumcius / MassLive

A Massachusetts legislative committee charged with recommending changes to the state's marijuana law holds its final public hearing in Boston Monday. And one of the state's U.S. senators is urging lawmakers to respect the will of the people.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was in favor of the ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana. She said she understands there are a few things that do need to be addressed by the legislature.

Marijuana activists celebrated outside the Mass. State House on Dec. 15, 2016, the first day pot became legal in the Bay State. Here, Ellen Brown holds a handful of pot.
Gintautas Dumcius / MassLive

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news.

What made The Short List this week?

Marijuana activists celebrated outside the Mass. State House on Dec. 15, 2016, the first day pot became legal in the Bay State. Here, Ellen Brown holds a handful of pot.
Gintautas Dumcius / MassLive

Massachusetts lawmakers this week met in West Springfield to take testimony about marijuana.

Voters in Massachusetts approved the recreational use of the drug in November. The legislature and governor have already delayed parts of the law -- and they're posed to make more changes.

That's nothing new, according to Lawrence DiCara, a lawyer and former president of the Boston City Council, who wrote about this for CommonWealth magazine.

Gov. Charlie Baker in November of 2016.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

The failure in Washington of GOP  healthcare legislation was welcome news to Governor Charlie Baker. The Bay State Republicans said the bill would've cost Massachusetts about $1 billion a year.

As we do most Mondays, we turn to Matt Murphy of the State House News Service for an update from Beacon Hill. Matt said that even with the failure of the federal legislation, Baker's healthcare headache remains.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts reacts when the conversation turns to Senator Mitch McConnell during her annual Springfield Office Hours at City Stage, Monday, March 20, 2017, in Springfield, Mass.
Jessica Hill / The Republican

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news.

What made The Short List this week?

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) of Amherst.
File photo / State Legislature's Website

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg said one possible change to the state's marijuana law could involve who oversees the regulation of pot sales.

Voters last year passed a legalization ballot question, which gave control of the Cannabis Control Board to the state treasurer.

Rosenberg told Boston Herald Radio, that ultimately, any changes are up to a legislative committee reviewing the law.

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
File photo / State House News Service

Last November, Massachusetts voters legalized recreational marijuana. There's a long way to go before pot shops open in the state, but lawmakers move one step closer Monday as the legislature's new marijuana committee holds its first public hearing at the State House.

For more, we spoke to Matt Murphy, a reporter with the State House News Service. He said the list of state officials who will testify includes Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Attorney General Maura Healey and Gaming Commission Chair Steve Crosby.

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
File photo / State House News Service

Key budget leaders in the Massachusetts House have said no new “broad-based” taxes are needed for the next state budget, even though tax revenues for the current fiscal year keep coming up short.

Like most Mondays, we checked in with Matt Murphy, a reporter for the State House News Service in Boston. He explained when lawmakers say they’re not raising “broad-based” taxes, that doesn’t mean no new taxes at all.

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