Pubdate: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 Source: Taunton Daily Gazette (MA) Copyright: 2012 Taunton Daily Gazette Contact: http://www.tauntongazette.com Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2750 Author: James Deblois Note: James DeBlois, of Rehoboth, is a Masters of Social Work candidate at Bridgewater State University. MASS. SHOULD LEGALIZE MEDICAL MARIJUANA As a cancer survivor, I have personally witnessed the pain and suffering associated with chronic and terminal illness. As a Massachusetts resident and taxpayer, I believe it is long overdue that we pass medical marijuana laws as other states have. Marijuana increases the quality of life for those suffering from chronic and terminal illness and the tax increases will benefit everyone in Massachusetts. The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine found that marijuana benefited individuals who suffered from physically devastating medical conditions. As a result, marijuana laws now make it legal to use the drug to treat the suffering associated with certain illnesses. These laws ensure that patients suffering with medical illness are protected against arrest and prosecution along with their physicians and care givers. What we have now are pharmaceutical companies that pander to agencies that profit by providing overpriced medications that have more side effects than treatment possibilities. We need only to look at other states that are already reaping the benefits of legalization. According to the Gazette in Colorado Springs, taxes brought in tens of thousands of dollars per month: In April 2010 alone, sales were in the amount of $1.6 million. This doesn't take into account the ripple effect it could have here as it did in Colorado where an increase in construction of facilities created more jobs for electricians, laborers and other construction-related occupations. TIME, a partnership of CNN Money, stated that in March 2011 alone, San Jose, Calif. brought in $290,000 in tax revenue, further demonstrating the benefits marijuana brings to local communities. CNN Money estimated that Massachusetts could bring in as much as $18.4 million annually. This is a prime opportunity to advocate for the legalization of marijuana for medical use and follow in the footsteps of the 16 other states. Contact The Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition at http://www.masscann.org/. They can help get you involved in supporting the issue. Contact your Massachusetts senator and representative to ask that they support Bill No. H3885: The Petition for an Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana Bill. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.