House Speaker Robert DeLeo

House Speaker Robert DeLeo

Credit: Mike Deehan

Errors Lead DeLeo To Postpone House Vote On Marijuana Law Rewrite

June 14, 2017

House speaker Robert DeLeo has postponed a planned vote on a major rewrite of the recreational marijuana law voters approved last November.
 
The House was scheduled to vote on the marijuana bill this week, but errors in the bill's language and pushback from Democratic members lead DeLeo to reschedule the vote for next week. The bill restructures how retail marijuana is regulated and intended to increase the tax on the drug to 28 percent. 
 
"I think there are certain things that we have to clear up, so because of that, I think it's important that with a bill of this mag that we try to get it right or close to right this first time, so I'd rather do that than try to rush it through," DeLeo said, adding that there was a consensus among Democrats on the basics of the bill.
 
 An error in the legislation could have unintentionally compounded the taxation at every part of the supply chain, resulting in a much higher tax rate than intended.
 
Lawmakers in the House are headed for a heated debate when they do take up the bill, a major overhaul of the marijuana legalization law voters approved last November.
 
Yes on 4 campaign spokesman Jim Borghesani pointed out that the current bill is flawed and that the compounding taxes could mean an effective tax rate of nearly 80 percent.
 
"I hope tomorrow, representatives stand up on the floor and say this assault on the voters' will will not go forward," Borghesani said.
 
The proposal passed through the Joint Marijuana Policy Committee without support from any members of the Senate and with several House members saying that the bill needs significant changes before it becomes law.


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