MAINE — — A Massachusetts lawmaker is saying marijuana can be a recreational and medicinal activity.
State Sen. David Knezek introduced a bill Tuesday that would legalize marijuana recreationally, but with the caveat that marijuana must be grown and sold in a way that is safe for the consumer.
“I think there is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on and there is also a lot that we don’t know yet,” Kneek said.
“It’s very difficult to be sure because it’s not legal yet.”
Knezek’s proposal, which passed a Senate committee on Tuesday, would legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts in the form of a regulatory structure similar to the ones in Washington state and Colorado.
The measure would create an industry-led regulatory framework that would set minimum standards for the growing, distribution, testing and labeling of marijuana, and establish a registry for marijuana-related businesses and organizations.
Kneek’s bill has support from a wide range of groups including the American Medical Association, the National Nurses Association and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
It also has the support of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
In a statement, the governor’s office said that Kneez “has consistently opposed legalizing marijuana in the state of Massachusetts, which is why we have taken the unprecedented step of introducing legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana in a regulated manner similar to Washington, DC.”
A spokesman for the governor said Knez’s bill is not a direct response to the election results in Massachusetts, but instead is a “consensus-based effort to ensure Massachusetts remains a safe place to do business and grow marijuana in.”
Knesek said the bill is designed to provide a “safe, regulated, and regulated environment for our businesses, but not for the government to regulate them.”
In a letter sent to lawmakers last month, Healey said she supports the bill and that the bill’s goal is to establish a framework that is consistent with the laws of the 50 states.
“The bill would provide a set of regulatory and regulatory standards that would ensure the safety and security of businesses, consumers, and state employees,” Healey wrote.
“These standards will be reviewed annually to ensure that they do not pose any risk to the public.
The bill also calls for a licensing system similar to those used by other states.
The bill would require that marijuana businesses obtain licenses from the Department of Agriculture and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and that licenses could be renewed for five years.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.”
The bill does provide guidance on the licensing requirements for non-medical marijuana businesses and suggests that a licensing process should be used to provide oversight and regulatory oversight of these businesses.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.