Massachusetts voters approve legalizing recreational marijuana - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Campaign 2016

Massachusetts voters approve legalizing recreational marijuana

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Voters in five states including neighboring Massachusetts will decide on Tuesday whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized on Election Day. (WFSB file phot) Voters in five states including neighboring Massachusetts will decide on Tuesday whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized on Election Day. (WFSB file phot)
LONGMEADOW, MA (WFSB) -

Voters in five states including neighboring Massachusetts were voting Tuesday to decide whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized.

Question 4 was one of the most talked-about and divisive questions on the ballot this year in Massachusetts. Question 4 asked voters to choose whether or not to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

On Tuesday, voters in Massachusetts approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Eyewitness News went over the Connecticut border and into Longmeadow, Mass. on Tuesday, where voters were divided on the issue.

While some people told Eyewitness News they don't see the problem with legalizing and regulating the drug, others said they don't think this is a step in the right direction.   

If the majority selected “yes” on ballot question 4, people age 21-and-over would be allowed to have and grow pot.

"I would be surprised if it didn't pass, honestly,” Elvyn Calixt, of Agawam Ma., said. 

Some voters in western Massachusetts told Eyewitness News, they don't see a problem with legalizing the drug, especially in smaller amounts.  

"It's up to folks how they're going to utilize it or not utilize it,” Dan Plante, of East Longmeadow, Ma., said. 

While, others said they fiercely oppose the initiative and voted against the measure.  

"I think there's enough drinking that kids do on college campuses and high schools,” Annette Peet of Longmeadow, Ma., said. “And this is just another substance we're going to say it's fine it's okay for you to start using this and I don't think that's in our best interest."

If this ballot question does pass, adults could possess up to one ounce of marijuana in public and have up to 10 ounces at home.

But, this wouldn't go into effect overnight. While it would become legal, under these provisions, on Dec. 15 of this year. State-licensed marijuana facilities can't begin applying for state and local licenses until October of 2017 and everyone else has to wait to apply until October of 2018.

It's also important to note that public consumption of pot is not allowed and OUI laws will continue to be enforced across the state.

Police departments in Connecticut reminded Massachusetts residents if this passes, and it becomes legal to carry a small amount of the drug, once they cross the state line, they're subject to Connecticut laws where it’s illegal to carry this substance if you don't have a medical marijuana card.

The results of the Tuesday ballot questions - and similar votes being taken in California, Arizona and Nevada - could represent a key turning point in the legalization movement nationwide. Recreational marijuana is currently allowed in four western states: Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The drug remains illegal under federal law.

Both Massachusetts and Maine previously voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and to authorize medical marijuana programs.

The Massachusetts law would allow for a tax of up to 12 percent on retail sales of marijuana while the tax in Maine would be 10 percent.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.