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Mass. Lawmakers Working On Proposal To Legalize Marijuana

BOSTON (CBS) -- Some state lawmakers are working on a proposal that would allow the use of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.

Advocates are planning their own petition right now to put the question to voters next year, but state Sen. Pat Jehlen, D- Somerville has other ideas to avoid a ballot question.

"We think it's a better idea to do it through the legislative process," Jehlen told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. "People have to vote yes or no [on the ballot], whereas if you propose a bill in the Legislature, there can be amendments, there can be hearings, and a number of people will have a chance to be heard."

Massachusetts voters have previously decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and medical marijuana was approved in 2012.

Jehlen thinks legalizing pot for recreational use is just a matter of time.

"Every time any expansion of availability of marijuana has been on the ballot, it's passed overwhelmingly," she said.

While voters have proven to be open minded in the past when it comes to marijuana, there are political heavyweights standing in the way, Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey among them.

But Jehlen said the issue isn't going away, either activists or Beacon Hill will move forward.

"We do expect it will be on the ballot next year," she said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Jeff Brown reports: 

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