On the Ballot November 4th, 2008

Voters in 15 towns to decide Medical Marijuana Public Policy Questions

Boston — Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts announces that, for the 5th consecutive election cycle, Massachusetts citizens will vote on marijuana reform Public Policy Questions.  Since 2000, voters in over 125 towns representing one-third of the Commonwealth have voted overwhelmingly in favor of marijuana reform (see below for complete election results).

For the 2008 election, activists from DPFMA and MassCann/NORML have placed four Public Policy Questions in State Representative districts concerning the medicinal use of marijuana.  Voters in 15 towns will be able to decide the following ballot question: “Shall the State Representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow seriously ill patients, with their doctor’s written recommendation, to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana for their personal medical use?”

1st Middlesex Representative Robert S. Hargraves Question 4 – Towns of Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell, and Townsend.  Representative Hargraves sits on the Joint Committee on Public Health in the State Legislature.

13th Norfolk Representative Lida E. Harkins Question 4 – Medfield, Needham, and precincts 1 and 2 of Dover. Representative Harkins is the Majority Whip in the House of Representatives. This PPQ will appear as Question 5 in the town of Needham.

21st Middlesex Representative Charles A. Murphy Question 4– Bedford, Burlington, precinct 3 of Wilmington. Representative Murphy is serving his sixth term in the State Legislature.

6th Plymouth Representative Daniel K. Webster Question 4– Hanson, Pembroke, precincts 2,3,4,5 of Duxbury, precinct 2 of Halifax.  Representative Webster sits on the Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

The towns of Medfield, Needham, and Hanson are within the Congressional district of Stephen Lynch, the only Mass. Congressman currently opposed to laws that protect legitimate medical marijuana patients at the federal level.

In January 2008 the American College of Physicians released a landmark position paper endorsing full legal protection for medical marijuana patients.  The ACP represents 124,000 member doctors and is the second largest physician group in the US. The ACP report is available at:

http://www.acponline.org/acp_news/medmarinews.htm

Since 2000 Massachusetts voters have passed 41 marijuana reform PPQs by a wide margin, 68% yes for medical marijuana and 62% for decriminalization.  This year all Massachusetts voters will also vote on Question 2, a binding referendum that will make simple possession a civil offense with $100 fine.

DPFMA has been working with the state legislature to pass H.2247, “An Act to Regulate the Medical Use of Marijuana by Patients Approved by Physicians and Certified by the Department of Public Health” sponsored by Representative Frank Smizik.  Currently twelve states including Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine have passed similar legislation to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest and imprisonment. Here in Masschusetts, H.2247 is currently being considered by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health.

This article is from http://www.dpfma.org/.

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