The 13-member commission is a requirement of the state marijuana law and was tasked by the Legislature with producing “a comprehensive study relative to the regulation and testing of operating under the influence of marihuana, narcotic drugs and depressant or stimulant substances” as well as recommendations for legislation by Jan. 1, 2019. The commission was not part of the 2016 voter law but lawmakers called for its creation in a law approved in 2017.
CCC Executive Director Shawn Collins, who chairs the commission by statute, said Tuesday that he has reached out to every person or office that the Legislature gave a seat on the commission to – including the governor, attorney general, State Police colonel, and public safety secretary among others – but has not yet heard back from enough of them to schedule the first meeting.
“We are underway in earnest in pulling that group together to begin the process of convening and exploring that particular issue,” Collins said. He added, “As with everything that we do there is a sense of urgency around it and my next step would be to start making phone calls to the folks I reached out to.”
In addition to Collins, the special commission is to include the attorney general, secretary of public safety and security, the colonel of the State Police, the president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the president of the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association, the president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the CEO of the AAA Southern New England, the president of NAACP New England, the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, one person appointed by the secretary of health and human services who has medical and physiological expertise, and one person appointed by the governor who has expertise in scientific research on or technological development in testing capabilities of substances. The officials named to the commission by statute may also elect to appoint a designee in their place.