Will the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana initiative, question 3 on the ballot pass? We vote on November 6 to determine whether or not to legalize the use of Medical Marijuana; the initiative is being supported by The American Civil Liberties Union, The Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance and the Committee for Compassionate Medicine; the primary argument in support of the measure, it is believed that the use of Marijuana would be of value in the treatment of various medical conditions. Other reasons include the thought that “A regulated, legal market in marijuana would reduce marijuana sales and use among teenagers, as well as reduce their exposure to other drugs in the illegal market; the illegality of marijuana makes it more valuable than if it were legal, providing opportunities for teenagers to make easy money selling it to their friends. If the excessive profits for marijuana sales were ended through legalization there would be less incentive for teens to sell it to one another”. Also, “Marijuana is not a lethal drug and is safer than alcohol”. It is an established scientific fact that marijuana is not toxic to humans; marijuana overdoses are nearly impossible, and marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or tobacco.
Associations opposed to the initiative are, The Massachusetts Chief of Police Association and The Massachusetts Medical Society. Arguments against legalization are the following; to legalize marijuana would cause the number of marijuana users to increase. Also, “Many people who want to legalize marijuana are passionate about their perception of the alleged failures of policies aimed at reducing marijuana use but those legalization proponents seldom—if ever—describe their own plan for taxing and regulating marijuana as a legal drug”. Short-term cognitive impairment does occur and thus, there is evidences to suggest that marijuana use can have serious consequence with regard to operating a motor vehicle. Lastly since “marijuana is the drug of choice for many young people, it is necessary to understand whether marijuana has any negative effects on academic performance and the transition from adolescence to adulthood”. However, it is important to note that public policy polling was conducted in August 2012 and the initiative was supported by greater than 55 percent of registered voters, meaning if the election were held today Question 3 would pass.
To date, seventeen states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana use. As you are probably aware, California was the first state to legalize the use, possession and cultivation of medical marijuana; the legal amount in California is whatever is needed by the patient. There are currently seven states where legislation is pending.
Will Massachusetts legalized Medical Marijuana use?