Massachusetts becomes the first eastern state to approve recreat - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Massachusetts becomes the first eastern state to approve recreational marijuana

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Massachusetts has become the first eastern U.S. state to approve the recreational use of marijuana.

It's approval could impact Connecticut, where it remains illegal except for medical use.

Massachusetts' initiative allows people over the age of 21 to have, use and grow pot in small amounts, up to 10 ounces at home and 1 ounce in public.

It does not go into effect until Dec. 15.

It won't be until next year that vetted state licensed marijuana facilities will be able to get their credentials.

Critics said pot is a gateway drug and legalizing it will lead to more problems.

"I'm not saying it's great you know, those lead to other things," said Denise Roncari of Enfield. "Now I'm sounding like that mom I didn't think I'd sound like 20 some odd years later, but it is a concern. It definitely is.”

Supporters, however, argued too many people are jailed for minor drug offenses related to marijuana.

One man from Enfield told Eyewitness News he was fine with it.

"I just don't think it's any different from alcohol or any other legal substance and I'm all about letting people make their choice," said Jeffrey Hug.

Anyone attempting to cross state lines into Connecticut will be subject to that state's laws.

Police departments said they're already reminding people that it's illegal to posses the drug in Connecticut unless they have a medical marijuana card.

Public consumption of the drug remains illegal and laws against operating under the influence will continue to be enforced.

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