INCREASE LEGAL AGE TO BUY AND USE MARIJUANA

By Bob Katzen

The Cannabis Policy Committee held a virtual hearing on a measure that would raise from 21 to 25 the legal age for the purchase and use of marijuana.

Supporters said that studies have highlighted the potential negative impacts marijuana can have on young people and their brain development. “In my opinion, the most important marijuana policy is policy that keeps our young people safe,” said sponsor Rep. Jim O’Day (D-West Boylston). “Raising the age limit of consumption would allow young people’s brains to fully develop important skills. To clarify, I am a supporter of legalized marijuana and I am aware that alcohol consumption can have the same negative effects. However, I filed [this bill] in response to studies on brain development and as a possible way to negate impacts on young people’s memory, learning and attention skills.”

“This is a perennial effort by the dwindling anti-cannabis crowd that never goes anywhere and never should,” said Jim Borghesani, a cannabis industry consultant and former communications director for the 2016 marijuana legalization campaign. “The hypocrisy of trying to raise the age for cannabis purchases while keeping it the same for alcohol purchases—a substance much more damaging to people and society—is pretty striking.”

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