"No" vote urged for marijuana ballot question

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Lawmakers, addiction prevention advocates and recovering drug abusers gathered on the State House steps Monday to urge Massachusetts voters to vote “no” to question three on the November ballot, which proposes to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in the Commonwealth. 

“Other states have tighter regulations, registration of all this.  This law has none of that.  Walk in, get what you need, drop it at home, go back and get more than you need, time and time again, and nobody is going to ask you a question,” said Sen. John Keenan (D-Quincy).

Opponents of the ballot question say it is overly broad and gives people easy access to marijuana.  They warn that marijuana is a gateway drug to more dangerous substances and addictions.

“I have family members that have passed away because of the use and abuse of drugs and people start with marijuana, people start by smoking that innocent joint and then their life just rolls and rolls and rolls,” said Rep. Martin Walsh (D-Dorcehester).

After the rally, supporters of the ballot question confronted opposing lawmakers. Chronic pain sufferer Jerome Smith told 22News marijuana helps him cope with his car crash injuries in ways he says other medications have failed to do.

“Since then it’s changed my life, I’ve been [able] to come off at least seven prescription medications, I’m able to get out and do things, I’m able to be a dad again,” said Smith.

Smith says if the ballot question becomes law, it would provide him with a safer way to obtain marijuana to deal with his painful injuries.  Though medical marijuana legislation failed to get off the ground this year, lawmakers say they are open to supporting a law that has adequate regulations in place. 

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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