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The Slow March To Fully Legal Marijuana In Massachusetts

This episode, we focus on a single plant. Weed, cannabis, marijuana, pot --  whatever you call it, Massachusetts is on a slow march to full legalization.

Possession for recreational use has been legal since December 2016, but no one has been licensed by the state to sell it. And a July 1 goal to get a marijuana store open came and went. Even when retail sales begin, experts tell us the illegal market won't go away anytime soon.

Then, we visit with some Gen Xers who are thinking about resuming their long-lost marijuana habits, and chat with a doctor who's studied the health impacts of the drug.

Of course, many people have been using marijuana illegally all along. A survey released in June found more than a fifth of Massachusetts adults said they'd used marijuana in the past 30 days. We get the details from a UMass Amherst professor involved in the research.

It likely goes without saying that no one should smoke up and then shoot a gun, but the federal government tells us that if you want to own a firearm, you can't ever use marijuana.

And lastly, we acknowledge that Bay State is well behind others when it comes to the marijuana industry. So we turn to a pair of reporters from states that legalized cannabis years ago.

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Sam Hudzik has overseen local news coverage on New England Public Media since 2013. He manages a team of about a dozen full- and part-time reporters and hosts.
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