SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

October 26, 2012

Letter: Groundwork already in place for marijuana legalization

To the editor:

Your assertion that Question 3 “is about laying the groundwork for legal use of the drug in all instances” (”Our view: No on Question 3,” Oct. 25) is divorced from reality. That groundwork is done.

Proof of that is the vote in the 7th and 8th Essex House districts two years ago (“Locals vote ‘yes’ on legalizing marijuana,” Nov. 3, 2010), and as noted by Nelson Benton in his column of Dec. 16, 2011, “A recent telephone poll conducted by DAPA Research on behalf of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition indicated that 58 percent of Bay State voters favor the legalization of marijuana.”

Four years ago, this paper editorialized against Question 2 (“Our View: Questions 1-3: Vote No,” Oct. 27, 2008) and puzzlement at the overwhelming 65 percent to 35 percent victory (“Our view: Voters of two minds on substance abuse,” Nov. 10, 2008). On Nov. 7, you will again find yourselves on the wrong side.

I hope that then you will understand, like the voters, that whatever the dangers of marijuana use may be, a regulated market and education are the only constitutional and fiscally responsible policy.

Steven S. Epstein

Georgetown

The author is an attorney and a founder of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition.

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