The last in The Freedom Bulletin‘s series of 2012 election endorsements is Question 3, which would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Massachusetts.
Question 3 reads as follows:
This proposed law would eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients. To qualify, a patient must have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or multiple sclerosis. The patient would also have to obtain a written certification, from a physician with whom the patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship, that the patient has a specific debilitating medical condition and would likely obtain a net benefit from medical use of marijuana.
The proposed law would allow patients to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana for their personal medical use. The state Department of Public Health (DPH) would decide what amount would be a 60-day supply. A patient could designate a personal caregiver, at least 21 years old, who could assist with the patient’s medical use of marijuana but would be prohibited from consuming that marijuana. Patients and caregivers would have to register with DPH by submitting the physician’s certification.
The proposed law would allow for non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers to grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers. A treatment center would have to apply for a DPH registration by (1) paying a fee to offset DPH’s administrative costs; (2) identifying its location and one additional location, if any, where marijuana would be grown; and (3) submitting operating procedures, consistent with rules to be issued by DPH, including cultivation and storage of marijuana only in enclosed, locked facilities.
A YES VOTE would enact the proposed law eliminating state criminal and civil penalties related to the medical use of marijuana, allowing patients meeting certain conditions to obtain marijuana produced and distributed by new state-regulated centers or, in specific hardship cases, to grow marijuana for their own use.
I am voting yes on Question 3 and urge everyone else to join me, for the simple reason that people have the right to make their own medical decisions and decide for themselves which substances they wish to put into their bodies.