Pubdate: Fri, 13 Apr 2012
Source: Taunton Daily Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2012 Taunton Daily Gazette
Author: William T. Breault


Whether under the guise of needed taxation or failed prohibition let 
us be clear: alcohol and tobacco are both proven to be damaging 
substances and adding another one, medical marijuana, especially when 
scientific facts prove marijuana's harms, is a slippery slope with 
far-reaching implications.

I oppose the legalization of medical marijuana in our commonwealth 
for several important and substantive reasons and will testify 
against House Bill No. 3885, "An act for the humanitarian medical use 
of marijuana." Permit me to explain.

Many prominent national health organizations do not support crude 
smoked marijuana for medicinal use. "Medical" crude marijuana is 
rejected by the American Medical Association, the National Multiple 
Sclerosis Society, the American Glaucoma Society, the American 
Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Cancer Society, the National 
Eye Institute, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and 
Stroke and the FDA.

Does legalization and regulation improve public safety? I say, "No!" 
Mendocino County, California legalized marijuana cultivation under 
Proposition 215 in 1996. Crimes and terror increased dramatically as 
growers brought on dangerous dogs and weapons to protect their crops. 
Many counties in California are now increasingly opting to rescind 
legalized growing and reestablishing society's taboo against marijuana use.

Driving much of these actions is the increasingly dangerous potency 
of the drug. Marijuana is much stronger than in years past because of 
advances in horticulture and hydroponics. Dealers are not part of a 
"hippy" culture of love and peace but are frequently "double 
breasting" - selling a whole range of drugs. Weapons and violence are 
serious side affects in both wholesale and retail marijuana "industry".

In a letter dated Jan. 22, to the Hon. Carmen M. Ortiz, United States 
Attorney for Massachusetts we asked, What are the federal criminal 
and civil and other liabilities of "medical" Marijuana dispensaries 
and physicians, government employees, landlords and financiers who 
participate in any way in growing possession, manufacture, 
distribution, or sales of "medical" marijuana under SB 1161 and HB 
625, the proposed "Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act."

U.S. attorneys in Washington, northern California, Colorado, Hawaii, 
Montana and Rhode Island have all issued letters warning that 
regardless of state law, the U.S. Department of Justice could 
consider civil and criminal actions against those who set up 
marijuana growing and dispensing facilities, as they would be in 
violation of federal law.

Main South Alliance for Public Safety has over 20 years of experience 
in monitoring and making recommendations on drug policy issues 
including those pertaining to marijuana legalization, marijuana 
decriminalization and medical marijuana. Main South Alliance 
understands that a comprehensive approach to promote sound drug 
policy includes education, prevention, abstinence-based treatment, 
scientific research and community awareness.

William T. Breault

Chair, Main South Alliance for Public Safety

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