Locals react to the House passing a Bill to federally decriminalize marijuana

Locals react to federal decriminalization of marijuana Bill's passing
Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 10:56 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Earlier this week, the house passed a bill to federally decriminalize marijuana. Democrats along with some Republicans voted 220 to 204 to remove marijuana from the Federal list of controlled substances.

We spoke with a local dispensary and one Springfield City Councilor to hear their thoughts about this proposed Bill.

“It’s overdue it’s something that should have been done years ago and it’s the right thing to do, there’s too many people that have been incarcerated for something that is now legal in most states and we need federal legislation to level the playing field,” said Melvin Edwards, Ward 3 Springfield City Councilor

Springfield City Councilor Melvin Edwards told Western Mass News that it is time for the federal government to decriminalize marijuana, after the house passed the marijuana opportunity reinvestment and expungement act on Friday.

“Locally we are taking advantage of the many applications for retail establishments and the taxable dollars that are now starting to flow it’s an industry that has been underground for so many years and it’s not going away,” said Edwards.

47 States and the District of Columbia have relaxed marijuana laws in some way, one western Massachusetts dispensary is also expressing their support for this proposed Bill.

“The decriminalization nationally is only going to add to the cannabis industry and is only going to add to the comfort people have of trying cannabis and erasing the stigma that we’ve had over the past 50-60 years,” said Lewis Goldstein, chief marketing officer at Insa.

This new Bill, led by house Democrats, will prevent Federal agencies from denying Federal workers security clearances for cannabis use, it will allow the veterans’ administration to recommend medical marijuana to veterans living with PTSD, plus gain revenue by authorizing a sales tax on marijuana sales. It will also remove non-violent cannabis offenses from people’s records.

“One of the big things we’re excited about if the more act passes is that we will finally be able to have federal funding for research for cannabis so until there’s a passage of the more act the federal can’t invest at all in some of the things, we know cannabis is good for,” said Goldstein.

In Springfield, the City Council recently gave final approval for the city’s first weed delivery service, which will operate in the south end.

“It’s a needed service there are people that obviously take cannabis for medicinal reasons as well as recreational and as long as it’s done safely, and the company is managing well, they have taken precautions and put things in place for safe delivery,” said Edwards.

Goldstein is encouraging the public to reach out to their state senators and ask for their support as the M.O.R.E. act moves onto Senate approval.