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Question 3: Medical Use Of Marijuana

White widow, a strain of marijuana, sold as medical marijuana in California. (eggrole/Flickr)

White widow, a strain of marijuana, sold as medical marijuana in California. (eggrole/Flickr)

This November, Massachusetts voters will decide whether using, selling and prescribing marijuana for medical purposes should be legal under state law. Question 3 is one of three ballot initiatives voters will face on November 6th.

If approved, the law would allow patients with debilitating conditions to get a doctor’s permission to obtain a 60-day supply of marijuana for personal use. The Department of Public Health would oversee up to 35 dispensaries across the state, while doctors could authorize personal caregivers to obtain and administer marijuana to patients who need it.

The law would also impose stiff penalties — up to five years in jail — for those convicted of trafficking marijuana for non-medical use. If passed, Massachusetts would join 17 other states, including three right here in New England, and the District of Columbia, that have legalized medical marijuana.

Opponents to Question 3 include the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the Massachusetts Medical society, which represents 24,000 physicians across the state. The push in favor is led by The Committee for Compassionate Medicine, along with a variety of patient advocacy groups.

WEIGH IN:

Where do you stand on Question 3? Does it make sense to legalize medical marijuana in Massachusetts? Are you someone who benefits from the drug? Or do you oppose legalization and why?

Guests:

  • Peter Hiyashi, a former clinical neuro-psychologist and professor of neurology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Peter also uses marijuana to treat pain.
  • Matthew Allen, director of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, and an employee of the Committee for Compassionate Medicine
  • Dr. Kevin Sabet, former senior advisor to the Obama administration’s director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, and the president of Policy Solutions Group — a drug policy consulting company in Cambridge

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