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Ballot Question 4: Legalize Recreational Pot?

BOSTON (CBS) - The Massachusetts ballot question asking voters to legalize recreational marijuana is generating both high interest and heavy spending.

Read: 2016 Ballot Questions

Question 4 would permit the recreational use of pot for anyone 21 or older.  It would be sold at a licensed establishment and local communities could opt out in a referendum vote.

Related: I-Team: Pot Or Not?

"Yes on 4" spokesman Jim Borghesani says there are other restrictions too.

"Personal possession limits, you would be allowed to have one ounce on your person and then 10 ounces in your house, under lock and key," he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

If passed, you would also be able to grow up to 12 marijuana plants.

Marijuana plant (WBZ-TV)

Borghesani makes the argument in favor of this provision.

"In Massachusetts we allow home brew of beer. We allow home brew of wine. The grow would be held under lock and key," he said.

A number of politicians, including Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Bob DeLeo and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh oppose Question 4.

Borghasani argues they are ignoring the obvious. They just can't bring themselves to say that prohibition has failed, he says.

Watch: WBZ-TV Marijuana Debate

Watch: Keller @ Large: Marijuana Ballot Question Debate

Shrewsbury State Representative Hannah Kane is a member of the steering committee of The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts.  She calls Question 4 a bad bill.

"There are many people who may philosophically support legalization, but they take a look at this ballot question and they realize everything that is going to mean in terms of commercializing marijuana in Massachusetts and they say 'Oh, that's not really what I want to have happen,'" she told WBZ.

Kane's group is also concerned about drugged driving and highly potent edible products.

Marijuana edibles
Marijuana edibles (WBZ-TV)

"The sales in Colorado in the marijuana industry are over 50-percent of the edibles and I think most people are unaware of that. We might have a historical understanding that marijuana is just simply a joint, and in reality that's not where the industry is going today. Their profit and growth model is really predicated on this highly profitable edibles market," she said.

The latest filings with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, shows the "Yes on 4" committee is outspending opponents. "Yes on 4" has raised $6.3 million while opponents have collected $2.8 million.

Recent polls give proponents the edge.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Mary Blake reports


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