Chris Musk Journal Staff
Question three on Massachusetts’ 2012 ballot is whether medicinal marijuana would be legal in the state of Massachusetts. This would eliminate the state’s criminal and civil penalties related to the medical use of marijuana and allow patients – who meet a doctor’s approved conditions – to obtain medicinal marijuana.
In most states, when a similar law becomes enacted, the legislation for medicinal marijuana being permitted alongside it also comes from the state’s acceptance of state regulated medical marijuana dispensaries. The only other alternative to dispensaries would be for patients to grow their own marijuana, which is most likely not going to happen.
There are many who support and oppose question three here in Massachusetts. For example, the Massachusetts Chief of Police Association opposes the measure, stating they believe the legislation is written too loosely as to who will be able to receive this medicine and for what reasons. Shocking, right? The cops are against it.
What appeared a little surprising to me was that the Massachusetts Medical Society – which represents 24,000 doctors – claimed they oppose question three until they see more valid evidence stating that marijuana would prove safe and effective for their patients. I am not a doctor by any means, but I easily found proof on the internet that marijuana helps certain people who have medical disabilities.
Boston resident Eric McCoy, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, stated during a Joint Committee on Public Health: “I’m almost 60 years old and the only reason I’m able to function every day is because of marijuana. I would be lying flat on a bed otherwise because of muscle spasms.”
Those who support the bill are the National Organization for Positive Medicine, which wants to operate a single not-for-profit medical marijuana compassion center in the town of Wakefield, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office has claimed to be neutral on the ballot question, but admitted it would be a pain ensuring that the medical marijuana gets in the hands of the right people.
This is a law that obviously only Massachusetts residents can vote on, and I believe it will be good for the presidential election as well. Many people who do not want to vote may be persuaded to go to the polls and vote for this measure, and in doing so will find the candidates running for office. I’m hoping that non-voters who show up to vote for question three will spare the extra 60 seconds and gaze their eyes further down that same page and vote for the political candidates as well. Good luck Massachusetts on question three this November 6.