SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

October 25, 2012

Our view: No on Question 3

Supporters of Question 3 on the Nov. 6 ballot say that allowing the sale and distribution of marijuana for medicinal use is all about easing people’s pain.

Don’t believe it. The campaign in support of the measure, backed heavily by out-of-state money, is about laying the groundwork for legal use of the drug in all instances.

Question 3 would remove punishment under state law for everyone from patients and physicians to dispensaries and “personal caregivers” for patients. (We can hear it now: “That pot’s not mine, officer. I’m a personal caregiver.”)

And all one needs for access to a 60-day supply, according to the proposed law, is a note from a doctor.

“Who determines who has a medical condition?” Danvers police Chief Neil Ouellette asked in a recent interview with reporter Ethan Forman. Ouellette said his research into medical marijuana in other states found the most prevalent use for it is to treat a sore back.

What’s more, “medical marijuana” is not recognized as a legal substance under federal law.

Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett sums it up best:

“Until the American Medical Association and Massachusetts Medical Society supports smoked marijuana as a legitimate medical remedy, and it receives FDA approval like all other medications, it is my opinion that that medical marijuana ballot initiative is nothing less than an effort to legalize a potentially dangerous and addictive drug.”

We agree, and urge that voters reject Question 3.

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