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Whether Massachusetts legalizes pot will depend on the youth vote

It’s been a while since politicians talked seriously about the priorities of young people. It’s unfair: campaigns rely on us to sign petitions, like pages on Facebook, and knock on doors in New Hampshire, but none of that translates into us being considered a viable political constituency. The reason is we don’t vote. And because we don’t vote, we don’t get to sit at the big boy’s table.

But what happens if an issue comes along that has the possibility of capturing young people’s attention, and in the process, turns us into a powerful voting bloc? Friday, the state awarded the first 20 licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries, the next big step in Massachusetts’ flirtation with full-on legalization. And now, the pro-weed lobbying groups are preparing for their push to get a ballot question on the issue by 2016. The next two years will be interesting, as America’s quintessential nanny-state will have to look itself in the mirror and decide if it will abide legal, recreational marijuana use. Whether or not that happens will depend largely on the youth vote. More