Asked her thoughts on Question 4, which would legalize and regulate marijuana in Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren did not quite say she’s voting yes — but she did make some very supportive statements and say she is “open to” voting in favor of the measure:
Marijuana is “widely available” in Massachusetts due to decriminalization but there’s little regulation of the drug, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Thursday, explaining why she is open to supporting legalization.
“Massachusetts is in a very difficult position, because we have decriminalized marijuana, but that means it’s fairly widely available,” Warren said, referring to the 2008 ballot initiative that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in Massachusetts. “But there’s no real regulation of it.”
Warren, D-Cambridge, added: “And I think what we really need is to have some regulation of it, and that means I would be open to the possibility of legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts.”
Pressed on whether she would vote “yes” on the ballot question, Warren said, “What I just said is that I would be open to it because I think that the problem we’ve got right now in Massachusetts is that we’ve decriminalized it which makes marijuana available but there’s no regulation over it for safety.”
It’s great to see Warren, a champion of consumer protection, expressing the need for regulating this widely available drug (though it was widely available far before decriminalization). She understands that anyone who wants to use it already is, and that the government can help protect those people by ensuring products are tested for contaminants and potency, and taxing sales in order to steer funding towards mitigating any negative impacts.
I hope to see Senator Warren make some more certain statements in the coming months, and would love to have her support for Question 4. For Congress’ leading consumer advocate, it’s the only sensible position.