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Legislators head west to learn about marijuana

Road trip!

With a marijuana legalization measure likely headed to the ballot next fall, the state Senate's Special Committee on Marijuana is planning a visit to Colorado in January to grapple with what may lay ahead.

Senator Jason M. Lewis, a Winchester Democrat who chairs the committee, says the panel will be meeting with state officials, law enforcement, and industry players, among others.

The delegation, he said, will not be sampling the product: "I don't think that will be required."

The committee will take a close look at how Colorado, one of four states that has legalized the drug, handles some tricky public policy questions: regulating home grows, responding to "drugged driving," and curbing youth consumption.

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"They've learned a lot and we want to benefit from that learning," said Lewis.

The panel aims to put together a report with recommendations for a regulatory scheme at the end of January or beginning of February.

Lewis says the Milbank Memorial Fund, a New York-based foundation focused on health policy, will fund the week-long trip and help organize it.

Colorado's director of marijuana coordination, Andrew Freedman, will play an important role, too.

You've got to keep your marijuana coordinated, after all. Everyone knows that.


David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe