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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Release: Area voters to be polled on medical marijuana policy‏

For immediate release
For more information contact:
Steven S. Epstein, Esq. 978-352-3300

Area voters to be polled on medical marijuana policy

Georgetown, MA - Last week William Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth announced that voters in the Thirteenth and Eighteenth Worcester House Districts, and the First  Hampden House District will have an additional question on their ballots polling their opinion on "legislation that would allow patients with their doctor's written recommendation, to possess, grow, and purchase marijuana for medical use." 

It will be Question 4 in Blackstone, Holland, Millville, Sturbridge, Sutton's Precincts 1 & 2, Wales, Ware's precincts B and C, Warren, and Uxbridge's Precincts 1, 2, & 4, and Question 5 in Palmer, Paxton, Worcester's Ward 1, precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4, all of ward 9, and precinct 3 of ward 10.

"Last spring, John Leonard, Clerk of the Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts (DPFMA) and member of the coalition, organized members of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann) and others who collected over 200 signatures in the three area districts and in the Second and Fourteenth Bristol and Ninth Norfolk so that this question would appear on these ballots," said Steven Epstein of Georgetown, a founder and officer of the MassCann.

A second team of petitioners collected signatures to obtain voter opinion on "legislation that would allow patients with their doctor's written recommendation, or such patient's registered caregiver, to possess and grow marijuana for the patient's medical use", in the Second Plymouth and Third Plymouth House District.

While a third team, lead by William Downing, collected enough signature to put the same question to voters in the Fifteenth Suffolk (Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill sections of Boston) held by Jeffrey Sanchéz.

Mr. Sanchéz as chair of the Public Health Committee refused to advance H. 2160, "An Act to regulate the medical use of marijuana by patients approved by physicians and certified by the department of public health."  Legislation filed in one form or another since 1993 to amend the "Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Act" signed into law by then Gov. William Weld the year before, by removing the requirement that the marijuana used in the program come from a federally approved source.

“Imagine the frustration of the sick and dying citizens who continue waiting for the legislature to liberate their medicine,” said Michael Crawford, President of MassCann, “as we declared with this year’s Freedom Rally theme, Cannabis is medicine.”

"Over five percent of the state’s voters will express their opinion on improving one of the oldest medical marijuana laws in the country," explained Mr. Epstein.  "Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten other states and the District of Columbia do not require a federally approved source, why should Massachusetts?”

Activist also gathered signatures for questions polling voter attitude toward legalization in: the FIRST MIDDLESEX AND NORFOLK SENATE DISTRICT;  the Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket; Seventh Essex; Eighth Essex; First Franklin; Third Hampshire; Third Middlesex; Thirteenth Middlesex; and Thirteenth Norfolk house districts.  Approximately seven and one- half (7.5%) percent of the voters in the state will participate in this poll.

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