Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst) introduced a bill to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana to the current session of the Massachusetts General Court last month. Last November, 69 percent of the Third Hampshire District voted in favor of a public policy question instructing her to support such a measure.

The bill, titled “The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act,” was drafted by Richard M. Evans, an attorney from Northampton. The bill would legalize the possession, consumption and sale of marijuana for people over 21 and establish a series of licenses requiring annual fees. A cultivation license would cost $500 per year and enable holders to “possess, propagate, grow and cultivate cannabis and carry on such other horticultural activities as are reasonably required for the commercial cultivation of cannabis.” Growers, however, could only sell to the holder of a processing license. A processing license would cost $1000 and would only allow licensees to obtain marijuana from a cultivator or an importer. Processors would have to make sure each cannabis package had proper tax stamps, warnings about a $5000 fine for driving while under the influence of marijuana and a label indicating each strain’s tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level.

READ MORE: Story drafts legalization bill
The Daily Collegian, Amherst, Mon. Feb 14, 2011