Pubdate: Sun, 24 Oct 2010
Source: Patriot Ledger, The  (Quincy, MA)
Copyright: 2010 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Cited: Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition
Bookmark: (NORML)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United States)


Advocates Would Legalize Use for Medical Purposes

QUINCY -- Five South Shore communities are among 73 Massachusetts 
cities and towns where voters will find public policy questions about 
marijuana on the November ballot.

Question 5 on the ballots in Carver, Hingham, Hull, and Scituate's 
Precinct 3 and Question 4 in Cohasset address marijuana use for 
medical purposes. Voters will be asked if they want to instruct their 
state representative to vote for legislation that would allow 
patients or their caregivers with a doctor's written recommendation 
to possess and grow marijuana.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, which is the local 
branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 
is behind the ballot questions that appear in 18 representative 
districts across the state.

State representatives in these districts may serve on or chair 
committees that would consider marijuana legislation.

"We're targeting people who have the power either to kill or will 
these bills," William Downing, a coalition director said.

"We've been working on medical marijuana for many years, over 20, and 
we've had legislation that has failed year after year after year due 
to our recalcitrant Legislature," he said.

"Everybody out there knows someone or has a relative suffering from 
cancer or some other horribly debilitating disease. If their doctor 
recommends they try marijuana, would you want to see your relative on 
the streets buying marijuana from a drug dealer?" Downing said.

While it does not appear locally, a ballot question in a number of 
other communities asks if voters want to instruct their 
representatives to vote in favor of bills that would legalize 
marijuana by allowing the state to regulate its cultivation and sale 
to adults and to tax it.

In 2008, voters passed a ballot initiative that replaced criminal 
penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana with a $100 fine.
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