Here are two reasons I will vote No on Question 3 in November. Thanks to the Mass. Prevention Alliance.
NB: I believe prohibitions breed criminality (see generally, USA, 1919-1933 and the “War on Drugs”). I believe we should continue the deep, probing dialogue led by Mark Kleiman and others. I believe Question 3 is a bamboozler and not a product of this intelligent, honest debate.
1. If 3 passes it will put added pressure on teens aged 10-19 to engage in unhealthy behavior.
Our kids are already in the crosshairs of tobacco pushers, the sugar empire, booze manufacturers and the clothing and other industries that sexualize children to make a profit. Do we really want to add state-sanctioned availability of pot, too. If passed 3 will authorize the opening of up to 35 dispensaries in the Commonwealth and a lot of pot growing in basements and backyards. Licenses to buy such pot will be easy to acquire under the current language. The pressure on young kids will be huge as these “dispensaries” will inevitably find it profitable to move pot through “licensees” to kids and adult abusers. And who gives out the licenses? The state department of Public Health that can’t pay currently for enough prevention and treatment services.
We know that the adult brain does not fully form until sometime in the early to mid-20’s. Adolescents make dumb decisions. Remember? Or maybe I was the only one. I don’t know what the backers of this question are smoking; the times when I smoked dope as an older teen and twenty-something I was giddy and detached, self-absorbed and very hungry. Add beer and it was good night and good luck to the world.
Question 3 backers sell it as “medical marijuana” and “compassionate care” but it legalizes the growing and selling of pot within easy reach of kids. Let’s give our kids, especially our kids disadvantaged by social class and race, a better chance.
2. A ballot question is no way to approve a medicine for market, even if this were all that Question 3 did.
Medical research continues to investigate the potential benefits of the component chemicals in pot. In the meantime, I can’t find a reputable doc who promotes smoking anything. I happen to be a glaucoma patient whose disease is currently controlled by eye drops. I also am well aware of the limitations and contradictions of big medicine (they often are not quick to embrace things they did not think of). But I will trust my ophthalmologist and her research colleagues..