Mass. Medical Marijuana Opponents Mobilize Efforts
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Mass. Medical Marijuana Opponents Mobilize Efforts');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Mass. Medical Marijuana Opponents Mobilize Efforts
Posted by CN Staff on June 03, 2012 at 11:50:10 PT
By Shannon Young, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Boston -- Opposition to a ballot question that would ask Massachusetts residents to vote on the legalization of medical marijuana is mobilizing in the state, despite claims from proponents that the issue is widely supported and will likely pass.With the Legislature stalling on a bill that would legalize the drug for medical purposes and issue supporters collecting signatures across the state, voters will likely have the opportunity to decide in November.
Under state law, more than 68,000 certified voters must sign an initial petition to place an issue on the November ballot, with not more one-quarter of all the signatures coming from the same county. If the Legislature does not take up the issue, an additional 11,000-plus signatures are needed by June 19th to put it on the ballot.But, the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance, which opposes the measure, has asked the Supreme Judicial Court of Suffolk County to change the ballot question's wording, which it says is "misleading." And the state's physicians are questioning whether there is enough scientific research to justify the use of marijuana for medical purposes.Heidi Heilman, president of the alliance, said the question fails to "adequately" outline the proposed system in which the state's Department of Public Health may issue registrations for marijuana treatment centers, and which would allow patients to be provided with a card that allows them to obtain the drug.Jennifer Manley, spokeswoman for the Committee for Compassionate Medicine, which proposed the ballot question, however, says a summary of the question clearly states that what would happen under the proposed law."We drafted the initiative petition to make the Massachusetts medical marijuana law the safest in the country," Manley said in a statement.Supporters point to the measure's licensing requirements for patients and dispensaries overseen by health department and the limited list of diseases that can be treated with the drug as examples of areas where the proposal excels.Attorney General Martha Coakley's office filed a motion to dismiss the alliance's petition, saying the group failed to offer a valid way for the court to grant its request, such as by proposing another way to write the ballot question.Coakley spokeswoman Emalie Gainey said the office is working toward achieving the "right result."A court date on the petition has been scheduled for Monday in Boston.Proponents of legalization have long touted marijuana's medical benefits, saying it relieves symptoms of conditions like multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, cancer and AIDS.Eric McCoy, a Boston resident who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 20 years ago, said using a vaporized form of marijuana has allowed him to live a "relatively normal" life. McCoy, who uses a wheelchair, said inhaling the drug stabilizes the muscle spasms in his legs, allowing him to walk around his home.He said he has been using the treatment daily for the past 17 years because he either cannot or will not take certain prescription drugs, like Valium, due to their dangerous side effects.McCoy added that, for him, the most dangerous thing about using marijuana as a treatment has been procuring the drug, not using it. He would not elaborate on how he obtains marijuana."No one has ever overdosed from medical marijuana," he said.The Massachusetts Medical Society, however, has recently said it could not support the drug as a treatment without sufficient scientific studies.Dr. Richard Aghababian, the president of the group which represents about 24,000 physicians and medical students, said he would like the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana to permit more studies on its possible medical benefits."We encourage our physician members to practice evidence-based medicine," he said.Aghababian said he is also concerned about the risk that prescribing marijuana, which the federal government classifies as illegal and of little-to-no medical value, poses to certain medical licenses. He also raised concerns over the health effects associated with smoking, a common way the drug is consumed.Despite the push by opponents, supporters of medical marijuana say they are convinced Massachusetts voters will be on their side.Bill Downing of MassCann, the local chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, said he believes there is no other issue in Massachusetts "that garners nearly as much attention." He added that signature collection for the ballot initiative is "ahead of schedule," but did not have the exact number of remaining signatures that are needed.During the 2010 election, state voters were asked 18 non-binding advisory ballot questions to gauge support for overhauling the state's marijuana laws. Nine of the questions supported the use of marijuana for medical reasons while another nine backed legalizing the drug outright, allowing the state to regulate and tax it.According to an Associated Press review of the campaign returns, support for the questions varied from 54 percent to 70 percent in state legislative districts.Currently, 17 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana to varying degrees. Many of these laws came through ballot initiatives.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Shannon Young, Associated PressPublished: June 3, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #10 posted by Paul Pot on June 18, 2012 at 05:02:11 PT:
AP Marijuana News Articles
Find AP marijuana articles at this address. Marijuana News Articles
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 08, 2012 at 14:29:36 PT
That sure is the truth. We have past the point of no return and they should just give up.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Hope on June 08, 2012 at 13:49:35 PT
That group just wants the question
rewritten in a way so that it is negatively presented.Dang. These prohibitionists are a scurvy lot. They now know they can't stop progress in the area of legalization... but they want to throw out every impediment and road block they conceive of to slow it down.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 08, 2012 at 12:49:22 PT
Mass. Medical Marijuana Opponents Win Challenge
June 8, 2012Boston (AP) -- The state Supreme Judicial Court has ruled in favor of medical marijuana opponents who say the likely November ballot question on the issue is misleading.
 Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office must now re-write the ballot question in light of Thursday’s ruling.
 The Massachusetts Prevention Alliance filed a petition against the question in May that was dismissed by Coakley’s office for not offering a valid way for the court to grant its request, such as by proposing another way to write the question.
 Heidi Heilman, the group’s president, said she would like the question to outline that under the proposal 35 marijuana dispensaries could be created in the first year, patients would be able to possess an undefined 60-day supply and some could grow marijuana in their homes.Copyright: 2012 Globe Newspaper Company
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Paul Pot on June 03, 2012 at 23:27:43 PT:
Democracy is the enemy of the prohibitionist.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by runruff on June 03, 2012 at 18:52:16 PT
The experts on falling sky disagree.
Chiken Little and his minions are still at it. Spreading the word that the sky is falling.Still, this pales in comparason to the flat earth society.Same mind set, different issues.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by The GCW on June 03, 2012 at 18:30:57 PT
I believe Mass will get this on the ballot and win. A win for the people.Best would be for prohibitionists to spend record amounts of resources to thwart the will of the people and still win big.-0-I looked outside today again and here in Colorado the sky hasn't fallen since We legalized medical use of the plant. I don't think the sky will fall in Mass either.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by runruff on June 03, 2012 at 14:59:23 PT
People like Heidie are an enigma to me. I cannot bring myself to meddle in the affairs of others which is why She and others of her ilk mystify me so.Then there is the greatest meddler of all, the fed who's job it is to protect me from meddling busy-bodies like Heidie, instead they pay her to do the opposite?There is the distinct odor of graft in the air.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on June 03, 2012 at 13:17:23 PT
in case you're wondering...
The "Mass Prevention Alliance" is pretty much entirely funded through state and federal grant money.No rational person in this state would try to "stop" a medical marijauan initiative here! It's like putting yourself in front of an oncoming train.  But someone who is getting paid to oppose it will oppose it.But it's so nice of the ruling class to give a little "shout-out" to the Big Pharma. "Mass Prevention Alliance" is like the politicians blowing a little kiss to Pharma. There there, we know you're about to get killed on this referendum, but here's a little something to let you know we still love you, and we appreciate the millions of dollars in bribes. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Oleg the Tumor on June 03, 2012 at 12:14:28 PT:
Right for Who? 
Coakley spokeswoman Emalie Gainey said the office is working toward achieving the "right result."This will be settled at the ballot box unless of course, "the People" are "wrong". Then what?The hemp industry will return in spite of all the foolishness and lies!
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment