Recreational use has been legal in Massachusetts since December, yet the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission just recently met for the first time. So far, the members seem a bit uneasy about discussing their own use.
Commissioner Jen Flanagan slightly diverted her commentary and mentioned that she wasn’t asked if she’d used heroin previously, according to Mass Live. It almost appeared like Flanagan was a bit offended that she was even asked. Flanagan used to co-chair the Legislature’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee.
Flanagan said, “I don’t think that’s relevant to the job at hand. I don’t think whether you’ve used it or not used it equates to the fact that you can do your job. And I understand people are curious, and I can respect that curiosity, but we’re also talking about an industry that we’re about to regulate that was passed by the voters.”
She continued by saying, “Why am I being asked that question now? The work that I have to do in front of me is to make sure this is regulated and that’s exactly what I’m going to do with my fellow commissioners.”
She doesn’t see a connection between opioids and marijuana, but didn’t say whether she thinks marijuana is harmless.
She said, “We’ll take a look at science. When you’re altering your state, you don’t know if there’s going to be harm 25, 35 years from now, and I think that’s what we need to look at. So that will be a part of this.”
Steve Hoffman will be the interim executive director.
Hoffman said, “We need to get started today and there are things we cannot do without an executive director.”
Regarding the new regulation, Flanagan said, “This is going to be a huge undertaking.”
The commission will also take over oversight of the state’s medical marijuana program. The Department of Public Health currently oversees the Massachusetts medical marijuana program.
Hoffman did admit to using marijuana while in Colorado last year. He said, to Commonwealth Magazine, that it is “harmless”, but can still be abused like alcohol. Two other members of the commission, Britte McBride and Kay Doyle also say they’ve used marijuana before – in college.
Shaleen Title dodged answering when asked about her previous use.
Title said, “I think the public is concerned about our plans to implement the voters’ will, not what cannabinoids are in our body, so I decline to answer that.”