Colorado marijuana czar: Massachusetts should craft pot regulations now

AMHERST — Massachusetts should begin a robust discussion about marijuana policy and regulation right away so to avoid being caught flat-footed if voters approve legalization at the ballot box in 2016.

That was the central message imparted by nearly a dozen speakers at an invitation-only marijuana policy forum sponsored by the UMass-Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences on Saturday.

The day-long event featured a keynote address by Andrew Freedman, the State of Colorado's top marijuana official, who spoke about the "Great Colorado Weed Experiment." Massachusetts, now eying legalization, has the opportunity to learn from Colorado, which opened its first retail recreational marijuana shop in January of 2014, he said.

"You can regulate marijuana like alcohol, and you can do it successfully, especially if you are intentional about it," said Freedman, who was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former pot foe, after Colorado voters...

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