SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 24, 2012

Anderson: Remembering McGovern, pondering ballot questions

(Continued)

A Yes vote on Question 3, which allows medical marijuana in Massachusetts, basically requires a Yes on this resolution, too. I’m still conflicted, so I called my family in Nevada, which allows medical marijuana. My son voted for it, thinking of sick people who benefit; my daughter-in-law voted “absolutely no.” In their family therapy business, they see the many abuses, similar to those that are causing second thoughts in California. It’s ridiculously easy to get the medical diagnosis, keep it permanently, share or sell the pot; driving under the influence is a big problem.

The Massachusetts ballot question seeks to address some of these concerns. And if the federal prohibition were removed, medical marijuana for genuinely sick people could be prescribed through our pharmacies, not special distribution centers. We could continue to argue against general legalization, at least until we get judges to always deal strictly with both drunken and stoned drivers. Until then, I’m still undecided on Question 3, but voting Yes on 6; this shouldn’t be a federal issue.

I’m grateful that Marblehead isn’t asking for the Community Preservation Act; when town leaders wanted to buy some open space along Salem Harbor, they asked for a debt exclusion override. This way, we know exactly what the extra taxes will buy.

Turns out Question 1 wasn’t decided by legislative agreement after all; the American Automobile Association is urging a Yes vote.

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Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a regular contributor to these pages.

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