A referendum on the ballot this November which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana just won support from a powerful figure in Massachusetts politics—Congressman Seth Moulton.
"I support legalization, but we do need to make sure it's done right," Moulton told Boston Public Radio Thursday.
"We have an obligation to regulate it and make it as safe as possible," he said.
Moulton believes that legalization will force lawmakers to confront safety issues already arising from marijuana usage in the state.
"One of the advantages of legalization is it will force us to come to terms with things already happening in Massachusetts today, like people driving under the influence of marijuana and kids using it," he said.
Legalization and regulation will also decrease the likelihood that users will move on to more serious drugs, Moulton believes.
"If you're not buying your marijuana from a dealer who sells heroin, who sells opioids, it's much less likely to be a gateway drug," Moulton said. "The problem is now that it operates in the shadows."
The Congressman acknowledged that he himself was no complete stranger to the drug. When asked if the Congressman and war veteran had ever used marijuana while at Harvard, he responded: "I did it a couple times. I certainly didn't qualify as a pothead."
To hear more from Congressman Seth Moulton—including his description of his four-point plan to defeat ISIS—tune in to Boston Public Radio above.