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Friday, January 8, 2010

MA Senate Election day, another chance to move medical marijuana

By Bill Downing (MassCann/NORML)

As has happened for 10 years, Massachusetts bills that would allow sick and dying people whose doctors have told them they might find relief from medicinal marijuana are bottled-up in committees. The Joint Committee on the Judiciary is sitting on one medical marijuana bill and the Joint Committee on Public Health is sitting on the other. If the chairmen of these committees would allow the bills to be voted on by their committees, they would surely pass.

So who is it that’s responsible for the continued suffering and fear caused by maintaining the prohibition on medicinal marijuana?

Rep. Jeffery Sanchez of Somerville and Brookline, 617-722-2130, Rep.JeffreySá

Sen. Susan Fargo of Waltham, Lexington, Carlisle, Concord and Chelmsford, 617-722-1572,

Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem of Newton, Brookline and Wellesley, 617-722-1639, and

Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty of Boston and Chelsea, 617-722-2396,

There is no other issue before our legislature that enjoys such strong public support. A Suffolk University/Channel 7 survey near the end of 2009 concluded 79% of Massachusetts voters support the legal availability of medicinal marijuana. Yet, even with stronger voter support than any other issue, our legislators are too timid to let these bills come to a vote.

Our only hope is that another demonstration of support for these bills from the constituents of these key legislators will inspire them to let the bills be voted on.

To that end, we will be collecting postcards from constituents in Rep. Sanchez’s district to be presented to his office en masse at a media event. These postcards ask him to support medicinal availability of marijuana and will be filled-in by many of his constituents on Tuesday, January 19 when they go to vote. We have found some and are looking for more volunteers to help gather names and addresses on the postcards outside polling places in Jamaica Plain on election day. Please help us.

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