Four years ago, Massachusetts voters decriminalized marijuana possession in the Bay State by an unprecedented 65% landslide. Tonight, Massachusetts’ Question 3 is cruising to an overwhelming victory, making the Bay State the 18th state, plus the District of Columbia, to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
Early results had Question 3 jumping to a commanding 66% lead, and by 9 PM have stabilized at a comfortable 63%.
All New England states except New Hampshire now have legalized medical marijuana in some form.
The passing of Question 3 will allow people suffering from a debilitating medical condition to use medical marijuana upon the recommendation of a doctor with whom they have a bona-fide relationship. When the law goes into effect in early January, 2013, registered patients will be allowed to possess up to a 60-day supply — but what constitutes that supply will be determined by the Department of Health.
The initiative will also set up a system of nonprofit medical marijuana cultivation and distribution centers, and under text of the initiative, up to 35 dispensaries must open within 180 days or a hardship clause will kick in, allowing medical marijuana patients or their caregivers cultivation rights.
While vocal opposition rose in the final weeks of the campaign, Question 3 has enjoyed a commanding lead throughout the campaign, while opposition was mostly disorganized and minimal.
Led by the Committee for Compassionate Medicine, with help from the ACLU of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, the Question 3 campaign was low-key, well-funded and tightly controlled. It worked in the Bay State, despite late opposition from law enforcement, the medical profession, and political figures.