YOUR TURN: Medical Marijuana - Good for Mass?

Voters will decide whether to grant doctors, patients and other care-givers the right to provide medical marijuana this fall. What do you think?

The states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C., all already allow medical marijuana to varying degrees - but is it right for Massachusetts?

That's the question state voters will decide this Fall, when they consider “A Law for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana,” the first of three questions on the ballot this year.

The initiative “seeks to legalize the use and cultivation of marijuana as a medical drug” and ends penalties on “qualifying patients, physicians and health care professionals, personal caregivers for patients, or medical marijuana treatment center agents for the medical use of marijuana."

What do you think? Could someone in your family use medical marijuana? Is this just a backdoor way of getting recreational marijuana legalized in the state? Take our poll and share your views with other readers in our comments. 

Mike Noneya July 23, 2012 at 02:06 AM
So if you're tired of Marijuana sales in your back yard, help eliminate it by voting to have it moved into a dispensary or someone's basement garden. This measure isn't going to flood the street with herb. It's going to help people who are sick. Meth, Speed, Crack, Coke, and heroin are all examples of manufactured drugs. This is totally different then Marijuana, which is a plant. Crack, Coke and Heroin all come from plants as well, but you need to process it all, in order for them to assume the molecular structure of any of those drugs. Some; like heroin, need to be processed even further, in order to get the full effects of the drug. Marijuana, isn't the same. It grows, flowers, is harvested, dried and either smoked or ingested. No other processes goes into getting the effects of Cannabis. NOTHING. It's not physically addictive and doesn't alter the mind, the same way other drugs do. It's less harmful to the body then drinking alcohol and no one's every died from USING cannabis... only from deals gone south. Which we could eliminate all together, if PEOPLE were just allowed to grow their own damn pot! And just FYI; Benjamin Franklin is known to have frequented opium dens. And there's journal entries from Thomas Jefferson, talking about smoking "hemp" on his porch, while watching the sun set behind Monticello. The only problem is, you can't smoke "hemp", that gives you a nasty headache. He was smoking CANNABIS.
david mokal July 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM
KEVIN Ill take my argument to the pols not here on a blog page. If You want your grass go lobby for it at the State House. Just more people getting killed over their stupid get high. It dont stop at Cannabis. Its Common Scense.
Kevin_Hunt July 23, 2012 at 02:36 PM
" Just more people getting killed over their stupid get high.". This is because it is illegal. Google "alcohol prohibition".
Shauna July 23, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Those of us who live here in Malden will remember the shoot out on Salem St. That was a shoot out over marijuana. Enough of pro drug talk on our local paper please. Mr Caesar you can't stop this?
Kevin_Hunt July 23, 2012 at 03:00 PM
A shootout over an illegal product? Sounds like Al Capone. Like I have said many times, prohibitionists like Shauna want to stop the debate because they don't like to hear the truth. Marijuana prohibition has done nothing but increase crime and cause shootouts. When was the last time that Malden had a turf war between rival alcohol gangs? Mr. Caesar has indicated that he will not pull comments unless someone violates the terms of use. In America we have this principle known as "free speech" which was written into law by our marijuana-growing founding fathers. You have the right to not read this particular article, if you so desire, Shauna. I think this site is a gold mine of debate opportunity.
Phe July 23, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Are you referring to the most recent shoot out on Salem Street? Can you point me to the source that indicates that not only are the suspects in custody but that it was confirmed that the shoot out itself was specifically related to marijuana? And why should the editor stop a conversation about a topic that the voters of this state will decide on in November? Those voters include Malden residents and everyone on both sides of the debate deserve to have their say within the confines of the Terms of Use of the Malden Patch.
Shauna July 23, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I'm talking about the one where three people were shot and two killed.
Shauna July 23, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Outside groups who take over local blogs are what you want?
Phe July 23, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Patch is a local newsource, not a blog. Nearly every community across the US has a local Patch. And if a non-resident has something to add to the commentary, as long as it's within the TOS, why shouldn't they? State initiatives do not impact the state alone. They're used as precedents for other states to pass, or not, similar measures - and the use of marijuana in medicine is a measure that's gaining momentum across the US. We don't live in a bubble, even here in Malden. How many people do you know that relegate their topics of discussion on state matters to only their own state? Local news is always full of issues in other places, and everyone, resident or not, has something to add. It's natural. What MA does today may well affect the legislation of other states and even the federal government tomorrow, Stifling outsider opinions on a local news source appears painfully ignorant.
Shauna July 23, 2012 at 03:26 PM
When this happens in the comment section it is now a blog.An opinion is great, forcing it down our throats because someone loves a drug is not.
Phe July 23, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Ah yes. I remember that one. A couple of years ago, wasn't it? I don't remember reading that it was specifically an argument over marijuana though. Can you point me to the source that stated that? The last news I saw about it before it died was vague on the motive. It seemed that it was drug related, but nothing specific was ever mentioned.
Kevin_Hunt July 23, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Thanks, Phe. As I've said in this post before, my parents live in Eastern MA and one of them has cancer. I feel that marijuana is a safer medication for cancer pain than beer (the current choice for my sick parent).
Phe July 23, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I should add that I'm more aggrieved by local politicians whose campaigns are largely funded by out of state sources. It seems far less fair to me that a candidate for the MA senate, legislature, or even a city councilor, can seek and receive campaign funds from people who are not going to be affected by the local decisions made if that person gets elected. With that perspective, I hardly care if someone who is not from Malden weighs in on a state law proposal (that, BTW, affects everyone in MA, not just Malden).
Kevin_Hunt July 23, 2012 at 03:30 PM
"forcing it down our throats" If you don't like it, turn of the computer and walk away.
Phe July 23, 2012 at 03:31 PM
A blog is a dedicated weblog that may or may not be maintained by a journalist or expert in his or her field. The comments section on news sites does not default to blog status because everyone and their mother offers their opinion on the artilce at hand. This section is, if anything, more like an immediate version of "Letters to the Editor".
Phe July 23, 2012 at 03:34 PM
And what about the Malden residents who hold the same opinion as the "outsider" you're specifically upset with? They've been vocal enough here too. Sorry. I know it's OT and off the original point, but trying to stifle someone because they are not currently a resident, even though they've stated the reason for their vested interest in this proposed legislation, is one of those things that makes me wonder about the people I live around.
DannyBoy July 23, 2012 at 03:35 PM
The last time I checked on Patch, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, and can comment on articles, as long as it is communicated in a way that does violate the TOS. If you don't agree with someone else's opinion, you can debate that person in a respectful and intelligible way, and agree to disagree. There is no need to get personal and nasty on the comments section ,but if you post something out of line, expect to get called out for that.
DannyBoy July 23, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I meant "does NOT violate the TOS".
Phe July 23, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Aw. :( And here was me all, "Woohoo! I can violate the TOS!!" too. :D Teasing, DB. But valid points all around.
DannyBoy July 23, 2012 at 03:43 PM
You make valid points, Phe. It's OT but campaign finance reform is sorely and so obviously needed these days.
Shauna July 23, 2012 at 03:56 PM
138 comments about weed. Malden is sure representin' Phe you are being wasted here on the Patch. With all your knowledge you should be CEO of some Fortune 500 company.
Phe July 23, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Shauna - Wow. What did I say to get such a nasty response?
Kevin_Hunt July 23, 2012 at 04:16 PM
One by-product of our insane marijuana prohibiton is the ban on non-drug industrial hemp. I would love to drive a modified DeLorean "back in time" to 1776 and warn Washington and Jefferson that greedy special interests groups were going to make their favorite crop (Cannabis Sativa) illegal in 1937. I guarantee that they would have written a "right to grow cannabis" amendment to the constitution. " Mandatory cultivation of hemp continued throughout the New World, the General Court in 1637 at Hartford Connecticut, and the Massachusetts courts in 1639 ordered all families to plant one teaspoon of hemp seed. “that we might in time have supply of linen cloth among ourselves.” Several colonies passed legal tender laws, hemp was so valued it was used to pay taxes. In 1777, Edward Antil wrote in his introduction of Observations on the Raising and Dressing of Hemp, “hemp is one of the most profitable productions the earth furnishes in northern climates; as it employs a great number of poor people in a very advantageous manner, if its manufacture is carried on properly: It … becomes worthy of the serious attention … of every trading man, who truly loves his country.” Source: http://www.globalhemp.com/2001/01/hemp-history.html
Phe July 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Michael G. - Wow again but in a good way this time. :) And thank you. I'll save the Fortune 500 leadership for those who have the slightest modicum of business sense though. Because I sure don't. FTR: I've thought quite the same about your own commentary. It's refreshing.
Phe July 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Michael - I can't even access those forums anymore, but I have to concur. It's a much different vibe here - and there's usually more discourse rather than pure shouting one another down.
robert wilson July 24, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I don't see marijuana mention, just green herb, it could be oregano, parsely, I'm sure that when and if he comes back he's not going to be to concerned about some stoners.
Don July 24, 2012 at 04:27 PM
He will be back, very soon too much to the sadness of the NO people.
robert wilson July 24, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Did they ever put that Saugus peet fire out/
david mokal July 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM
This is getting Boring ! Lets change the subject go on to hating something else. If ya wanna smoke rope smoke rope do what ya got to do. Time for another DD Latte
Kevin_Hunt July 30, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I agree, David. What about the Saugus Peat fire that Robert was asking about?


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