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Could Marijuana Be Legalized in Massachusetts by 2016?

Group hoping for referendum to go before voters in next presidential election.

A local group wants to make marijuana legal in Massachusetts. Patch File Photo

A local group wants to make marijuana legal in Massachusetts. Patch File Photo

By Liz Taurasi

A Massachusetts group is looking to make marijuana legal in the state with a proposed ballot question for the 2016 election.

The group, which describes itself on its website as a “state ballot question committee dedicated to the repeal of cannabis prohibition,” has filed paperwork earlier this week to get the process moving, according to the Boston Herald. Their goal, according to the Lowell Sun, is to put their referendum to legalize marijuana before Massachusetts voters during the next presidential election.

The group made a formal announcement on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the group told the Herald the goal is to“create the simplest and least restrictive plan to lift the state’s prohibition on marijuana while still barring non-medical distribution to children.”

According to the Herald, the group plans to test different versions of their initiative with referendum questions on ballots in some House and Senate districts.

The Lowell Sun reported Friday morning that the group plans to put non-binding questions about legalizing marijuana to voters in 2014, before it makes a push for binding language, which the legislature would need to review before appearing on the 2016 ballot