BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts became the first state east of Colorado to start selling recreational pot on Tuesday, and Rep. Joe Kennedy III is calling on the nation to end its "prohibition on marijuana."
The Congressman wrote an op-ed for The Boston Globe's "Stat" publication titled "It's time to legalize marijuana at the federal level." He's calling for the removal of pot from the Controlled Substances Act and for federal legalization.
Kennedy says that he's had concerns that marijuana could be addictive to teens and end up being abused. But he's also aware of the therapeutic benefits, and how "skin color dictates how likely you are to be arrested and charged for marijuana possession."
"One thing is clear to me," Kennedy writes. "Our federal policy on marijuana is badly broken, benefiting neither the elderly man suffering from cancer whom marijuana may help nor the young woman prone to substance use disorder whom it may harm."
Kennedy says the federal status quo hurts Massachusetts, even though recreational pot sales are underway.
"Career placement agencies in Springfield that benefit from federal dollars can't point job seekers down the block to the marijuana dispensary that's hiring," he writes. "Affordable housing developers in Foxboro can't lease to marijuana retailers without fear of losing funding."
Read his entire op-ed here.
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