Massachusetts voters could pass a referendum to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November and state senators are getting ready.
Members of a special senate committee are in Colorado to see how the state regulates and controls marijuana sales.
FOX25 is the only local television station traveling with them. Anchor Vanessa Welch was in Denver Monday where legalization hasn't caused any huge issues in the state.
The Colorado state marijuana director says there have not been any huge red flags since voters changed the state constitution there to make marijuana legal for recreational use, they haven't seen an increase in usage or a big uptick in crime.
But he did warn our lawmakers about possible dangers if voters give recreational marijuana the green light. It gives new meaning to rocky mountain high.
Marijuana is legally sold in Colorado, taxed and regulated like alcohol. Along Denver's green mile, pot shops sit across the street from restaurants. And we could soon see the same thing in the Bay State.
Voters may decide the issue on the November ballot, which is why the senators are in Colorado.
Mass. Senator Jason Lewis chairs a special committee on marijuana. The group went to Denver to research how Colorado regulates recreational pot.
FOX25 caught up with them after their first meeting where they learned half of all sales involve edibles.
"We have to be careful about having products with THC in them that appeal to kids," he said.
Marijuana infused gummy bears have been mistaken for candy and state leaders FOX25 heard from Monday say edibles contributed to at least one death.
Senator Vinnie Demacedo, who is against legalization, said, "That is something I would try to address immediately and make sure we don't get into the edible market."
Colorado leaders encouraged our senators to delay legalizing edibles.
And warned them about allowing people to grow marijuana at home, at least in the beginning. They've had trouble with unlicensed growers shipping marijuana to be sold illegally in other states.
But the issue our senators asked the most questions about involved testing for people driving under the influence of marijuana.
The police chief of Erie, Colorado told them it's not easy.
"It is much more difficult to determine impairment with THC. Number one we can't identify, we don't have breathalyzer," he said.
Lawmakers could use what they learned here to tweak the law if Massachusetts voters say yes to recreational pot.
Taxpayers are also not funding this trip, it was paid for by the Millbank Memorial Fund, which calls itself a non-partisan group aimed at improving the health of populations.
On Tuesday, the senators will tour places where marijuana is grown and find out how Colorado tracks the drug from seed to sale.
We will be with them and Welch will be back Tuesday night at 10 with incredbile video of a local grow operation.
Cox Media Group