Medical Marijuana: Reefer Madness Coming To Mass? Or Mellower Dads?

medical marijuana sign

(Photo: Laurie Avocado via Wikimedia Commons)

The opposing camps are, shall we say, firing up their arguments over the medical marijuana measure on this November’s ballot.

Proponents have formed the Committee For Compassionate Medicine (Subtitle: ‘Yes’ for Massachusetts Patients).

And we just got word that the opponents — they’re at MaVoteNoOnQuestion3.com — will hold their official launch tonight. (Their subtitle: Real compassion requires real medicine.)

This debate over medical marijuana — the measure is Question 3 on the ballot — might be kind of fun. Recent media gleanings as the issue heats up:

The Boston Herald warns ‘Bay State in for trouble’ in a story headlined “Report: Medical marijuana a budding problem.” It begins:

With Massachusetts voters poised to legalize medical marijuana, a chilling new report on Colorado’s similar law shows the Rocky Mountain State has become a poorly regulated mecca for potheads and dealers — suggesting the Bay State may be on track to become New England’s own hemp haven.

Yikes! That’s not what we mean when we say “medical mecca!” Though seeing as how Vermont and Maine have already legalized medical pot, we don’t seem to be in much danger of becoming the region’s supplier. And here’s another comforting thought: Maybe marijuana medicine could help many patients mellow into better parents. In The New York Times, San Francisco art dealer Mark Wolfe reports that taking medical pot for back pain and stress has done wonders for his family life with three small children, giving him what he calls “Parental Attention Surplus Syndrome.”

He concludes:

…For me, at least, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. I find the time I spend with my children to be qualitatively different and simply more fun when I take my medicine (always in private, never in front of them, never too much). I am able to become a kid again, to see things through my daughters’ eyes and experience, if I’m lucky, the wonder of each new game, each new object and sound, as they do.

Deeply embedded voices of authority in my head do still caution that I may be hurting my kids in ways I can’t see. But I just can’t imagine how it could possibly be worse for them than the consequences of their father’s former stress-fueled frustration and withdrawal. When I’m rolling around the floor with my giggling daughters, clicking into an easy dynamic of goofy happiness and love, I feel it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Readers, how are you planning to vote on this initiative and why? To help inform your decision, according to a MassLive.com report in July, the measure’s wording now reads:

“A yes vote would enact the proposed law eliminating state criminal and civil penalties related to the medical use of marijuana, allowing patients meeting certain conditions to obtain marijuana produced and distributed by new state-regulated centers, or, in specific hardship cases, to grow marijuana for their own use.”

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  • Stu

    I think I am particularly qualified to speak on this issue. I am 50 now, and dont “partake” anymore. I did have a toke or two a while ago, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. However, the next day I had an unmistakable ‘fog’ in my head. So I prefer to get Joy in other ways now.

    I did cover a large portion of my college education peddling some of the finest Humboldt and the Hawaiian islands put out in the late 70′s. I am therefore in no position to judge anyone who enjoys the product today.

    I think that if the product was regulated as well as alcohol is today, then it would be the best course to end its prohibition. However the piecemeal approach we have today, where unscrupulous doctors are essentially selling the cards by charging a fee at pot fairs…it cannot be compared to the mostly fair and consistent regulation we have for most other drugs.

    The real reason for my particular qualification is, as militant as I once once in my defiance to use and deal the product, my opinions on its safe use have changed. This is especially true for the developing brains of our youth.

    My 19 year old son has recently been placed in a psychiatric hospital. This was not his first time, he began smoking when he was 16, and used the drug extensively. When he tried to “clean” himself up when he was just under 18 years old….he suffered a psychotic break.

    We were hopeful that it was a one time episode, though he never fully recovered and has descended back into his particular madness once again. He still insists that the pot is medicine for him, and in some strange way he is partially correct. However, it undoubtedly played a role in the chemical imbalance in his brain.

    I am now firm in my belief that pot needs to be kept out the hands of kids, meaning those whose brains are still developing (and this continues into our twenties). However I am not firm that it should be politicized and prohibited for adult use.

    What I don’t understand, is how lightly this subject can be dealt with in the media, as if it can only help and never harm. There is no discussion about how when its use should be curtailed for example.

    How many Pro people here think people under 21 smoking pot is a problem?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikecann Mike Cann
  • voteYES

    I AM voting YES and, of course, not listening to the idiot, “iDontBuyit” (but I SELL it) dude. Obviously, he hasn’t read any medical reports or much of anything else. Pity but his position should LOSE. This is science and not church mythology.

  • Tall_and_Sweet

    If anyone is still reading the comments on this article, please don’t waste your time reading responses from “iDontBuyIt”. This person is either being paid to rant against Question #3 or is a pot dealer worried about his livelihood being threatened by legal medical marijuana. Either way, he’s not saying anything here that is remotely factual.

    • iDontBuyIt

      Yeah, don’t listen to the guy pointing out that “medical” pot is just a scam, as everyone has seen in CA.

      I guess I’ll say, if anyone is still reading the comments, don’t listen to Tall_and_Sweet, she is just a typical person who wants her pot, and doesn’t care if everyone else has to deal with a pot store and pot billboards in their town.

  • OnTheOtherHand

    For the sake of our children we cannot afford to send the message that smoking marijuana is okay or healthful in any way.  It is not.  Smoking marijuana and the notion that it is any way medicinal defies logic, science, and common sense.  Haven’t we just spent the last 50 years proving beyond a shadow of doubt that smoking ANYTHING is deadly?  The tobacco ad-men at their most diabolical were not so creative.  “Medical marijuana” is a Trojan Horse.  It has been proved so in other states.  It is the thin end of the wedge to full legalization.  With few exceptions in the chronically ill, who deserve relief using non-smoked, cannabis-derived palliatives whose dosage can be measured and controlled and that does not lace the lungs, and brain with toxins, the proponents are vice-based lifestyle advocates and a growers industry warming up in the wings.  

    This is bad policy.  As Mark Kleiman said: “If we legalize marijuana or any other drug, either we will have a private industry whose profits depend on creating and maintaining addicts, or we will have a public beauracracy whose revenues depend on creating and maintaining addicts. Somebody’s going to get a revenue stream from selling licit drugs, and whoever gets that revenue stream is going to try and maximize it. What you might call the political economy of drug legalization is a bigger problem than the legalizers seem to grasp.”

    Get the facts and vote no on 3 in 2012.   Start your research here: http://mavotenoonquestion3.com/

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODSIAGC55PNMR6HUVTUMTR7SQY chris o

      this is a cowardice website it blocks all posts that don’t fit its agenda some debate

  • iDontBuyIt

    Get ready for this in your town:

  • iDontBuyIt

    Don’t let a pot head billionaire push pot into our towns.
    “We are up against a billionaire from out of state who is pushing the repeal of pot prohibitions across the country,” said Heidi Heilman of Acton, a school substance abuse educator who helped form the group. “We don’t have any money. This is crazy.”
    http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x2076995445/Out-of-state-cash-fuels-ballot-question-campaigns
    Seems that the billionaire can’t kick his addiction, so he wants everyone in our state to have it too.

  • iDontBuyIt

    It’s obvious this is not about medicine, it’s about profit. And those who profit from abuse can’t wait to set up a pot store in every town, and hoist up billboards on every street, and hook up as many new customers as they can.

    • nick p

      Vermont is allowing 4 dispensaries owned and operated by NON-PROFITS. seems to me like taking money out the hands or gangs, and drug dealers and into tax paying small businesses, while getting medicine that has passed quality control is a WIN-WIN-WIN.

      • iDontBuyIt

        Ha, if you believe that those stores are “non-profit” I gotta a bridge to sell ya.

    • Tall_and_Sweet

      iDontBuyIt must be a liquor store owner who’s worried about imaginary competition. His rants are just that.

      • iDontBuyIt

        Liquor store owner? not quite. Tall_and_Sweet must be a dealer who can’t wait to get his pot store open and start selling to all those people with “ailments” that can only be solved by getting high.

        • Tall_and_Sweet

          First, I’m not a guy, honey. I’m a mature woman who works with animals and have no interest in retail. I have two seriously ill friends, one with cancer and the other totally disabled with a spinal cord injury. Both their doctors suggested that marijuana might also help to alleviate their suffering and improve their quality of life. And that is exactly what happened. They both are able to be much more mobile than they had previously with just the “legal” drugs.

          So what’s your story? Why the big personal campaign against pot?

          • iDontBuyIt

            funny how every stoner or dealer has “two seriously ill friends” who could only be helped by a pot habit that their doctor recommended. Sorry, that sales pitch doesn’t work with me. Heard it too many times. It’s getting old…
            But thanks for giving a great example on why this pot vote is one big scam, designed not to help people, but to put a pot store in your town for profit.

  • Tall_and_Sweet

    I’m definitely voting YES. Marijuana has been naturally growing out of the ground for thousands of years. And its benefits have been experienced and enjoyed for as long. No drug on earth has gone through a longer testing period, and its benefits are well documented both anecdotally, medically and scientifically. Adults should have the right to use it as they see fit, as much as they have the right to drink or take aspirin. And those two drugs can kill you if taken in excess. The fact that a benign plant like marijuana is still illegal is a CRIME.

    ps – To: iDontBuyIt – What’s with the billboards? You sound like a very paranoid person who wants everyone else to think the sky is falling. If you don’t like pot, don’t smoke it.
    Are you also against alcohol? How about some factual arguments instead of just your
    ignorant, inflammatory statements?

    • iDontBuyIt

      Funny, typical pot fan boy that thinks because it is a plant it is somehow organic and good for you. There is nothing natural about putting smoke in your lungs to deliver a chemical into your brain to produce a fake high. It is as natural as sniffing glue.

      • nick p

        what is a real high as opposed to this fake high you keep talking about? enlighten me please.

        • iDontBuyIt

          You do realize that putting chemicals into your brain is just faking your brain into feeling good. It is a not a natural feeling of feeling good. It is fake brought on by chemicals. Like sniffing glue. Pretty pathetic if you ask me if you are an adult still doing that. I mean, go seek some real highs. You only live once you know.

          • nick p

            marijuna does not just affect your brain…it also affects your body..such as lowering blood pressure in glaucoma patients (preventing them from going blind), supress nausea and stimulate appetite (great for cancer and AIDS patients treatment affects) , stops convulsions (epilepsy) and lets not forget it relaxes muscles and spasms (multiple sclerosis) …explain how ]real highs’ are going to help those with these conditions?

          • iDontBuyIt

            spoken like a true salesman. you sell cars too? get real, all this stuff doesn’t matter to you, you just want to make your money touting the “benefits” while hiding the down sides on your billboard to get more customers in. you just want to legalize your drug dealing so you can market right in town, sell right in town, and make more profit from the abuse.

          • nick p

            no, i simply don’t want to deny people access to a product, endorsed by DOCTORS, that will help them MEDICALLY. You cant deny there are medical benefits to marijuana.

          • iDontBuyIt

            just stop. we all know you want to sell your pot. stop using sick people as an excuse.

  • iDontBuyIt

    It is really simple. If you don’t want pot stores in your towns, and pot billboards on your street, vote NO.

  • nick

    i support medical marijuana. I support DOCTOR’s decisions to prescribe it. I have more faith in our licensed doctors, than the politics that muddy the waters. there are american citizens whose life is enhanced by the compounds in marijuana, as well as other plants in which medicine is derived from. legalize, regulate, and tax it.

    • iDontBuyIt

      Yeah, sorry, this doesn’t work. I don’t know why, but in CA and other places, doctor’s hand out pot cards to everyone with any made up aliament just looking to score their fix. It is a scam.

      >whose life is enhanced by the compounds in marijuana,
      Enhanced? Funny way to describe abuse. Pot is just simply a chemical you smoke into your brain for a fake high. It is no better than sniffing glue. I say, live naturally, without the need for fake highs, and live in a society that doesn’t let people profit from this abuse, and market this crap in your town.

      • Dantheman

        alright maybe the doctors need to take more care in how and who they hand a card. Although Oxycodone can be handed out just as easily if you make up some back pain and say you tried everything or go to a methadone clinic by stating you are addicted to heroin. Therefore all these problems with who gets a legal high is always going to be around.

        also methadone and oxycodone are much worse than pot so think about the other problems. I have epilepsy and have had a lot of problems with pot and I have recently stopped smoking pot (a few months) and yes it can be addictive. As for the THC pills that have been around since 1985 are still nice for those in pain, although there is no pill for cannabinoids. The cannabinoids are what make pot unique it is what is in the pot that makes you energetic and often less if at all paranoid. Lastly if you are worried about our kids getting easier access too pot, well yes but look at the bright side. 1. less carcinogenic and 2. no dangerous dealers or at least less dangerous. This makes growing crap bud pointless for high quality so much easier to obtain.

        OOoooh yes and I forgot to mention sativa bud or bud extremely high in cannabinoids is only type that helps me with my epilepsy therefore without a card it’s useless for me to spend money on stuff on the street when I don’t know the source.

      • nick p

        why don’t we get rid of anything where there is a potential to abuse. cars, beer, guns, ect. why should someone who legitimately benefits from something not be allowed to have it because some people abuse that responsibility… is not an american freedom to have guns even though some abuse that right? Same with alcohol. Anyone can get beer after 21, anyone can get a license over 16, anyone can go abuse even GLUE! your right about that… don’t take my glue away because i have a legitimate use for it though!
        Get the government off my choices, my free will and what medications MY doctor, not my politician say will be beneficial.

        • iDontBuyIt

          Ok, so lets have access to bazookas, heroin, and cars without seatbelts. If you don’t understand that as a society, we draw some lines, you should move to an island. And yes, pot is one of those lines. No one wants that crap in their town. No one wants advertising and marketing for that crap on their roads. And no one wants all that new supply of crap entering the schools in search of new customers and more profit. Sorry, go make your money some other way. Keep pot stores out of our towns.

  • iDontBuyIt

    Medical pot is clearly a scam not to help people but to let people who profit from abuse set up billboards and stores in towns.

  • PithHelmut

    It is downright criminal that our government stop us from using one of nature’s greatest healers, marijuana. Two videos to check out: http://cannabisinternational.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rzUGuuXWr8 Let’s get this plant legalized so that we can have an effective and easily accessed cure for so many ailments and serious diseases.

    • iDontBuyIt

      There once was “medical beer” in the 20s. The first thing people do to get their drug they want to sell legal is call it “medicine”. Typical strategy.

  • http://twitter.com/Coinspinn3r Coinspinner

    Judging by how absolutely panicked the nation’s newspapers are over legalizing marijuana I’d have to say we are on to something big and wonderful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Hunt/100003205282238 Kevin Hunt

    “With Massachusetts voters poised to legalize medical marijuana, a
    chilling new report on Colorado’s similar law shows the Rocky Mountain
    State has become a poorly regulated mecca for potheads and dealers .”

    What a joke statement. Any time you see the word “pothead”, you can rest assured that it was written by someone with a political axe to grind. Marijuana is safer than any prescription or OTC medication, because it has never caused a death due to overdose or adverse drug reaction in all of history. Colorado teens have not been using marijuana at a higher rate since Colorado enacted its medical marijuana law. In fact, there is evidence that teen use may have dropped since 2009. There has been a drop in the car accident rate in medical marijuana states. This reefer madness hysteria is unfounded. Vote YES.

    • iDontBuyIt

      Typical guy who believes that having a bad habit and having to smoke pot everyday is somehow healthy for your mind and body.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Malcolm-Kyle/100001700224506 Malcolm Kyle

    Ending prohibition would greatly reduce, even almost eliminate, the market in illegal narcotics, cause a reduction in the number of users and addicts, greatly curtail drug related illness and deaths, reduce societal harm from problematic abusers, and bring about an enormous reduction in the presence and influence of organized crime. The people who use drugs are our own children, our brothers, our sisters, our parents, and our neighbors. By allowing all adults safe and controlled legal access to psychoactive substances, we will not only greatly reduce the dangers for both them and ourselves but also greatly minimize the possibility of ‘peer-initiation’ and sales to minors.

    If you sincerely believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy then you can stop helping to enforce it. You are entitled—required even—to act according to your conscience!

    * It only takes one juror to prevent a guilty verdict.

    * You are not lawfully required to disclose your voting intention before taking your seat on a jury.

    * You are also not required to give a reason to the other jurors on your position when voting. Simply state that you find the accused not guilty!

    * Jurors must understand that it is their opinion, their vote. If the Judge and the other jurors disapprove, too bad. There is no punishment for having a dissenting opinion.

    “It is not only [the juror's] right, but his duty … to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.” —John Adams

    We must create what we can no longer afford to wait for: PLEASE VOTE TO ACQUIT!

    • iDontBuyIt

      Keep pot stores out of my town. Keep pot billboards off of my streets. Keep pot, and other drugs like code and heroin, illegal.

      • nick p

        Why should we not let cancer patients have access to a drug prescribed by a doctor? Tell me why I should have the authority to deny people their medicine? PS. the ballot has nothing to due with billboards or illegal drugs…just decriminalized marijuana for sick patients who get a prescription from their doctor. please stop using the slippery slop argument as to potential abuse of pot. It is a legitimate medication, that provides real relief to those in pain… NOT a ‘fake high’ similar to glue… I am sorry, but you lose a lot of integrity points when you make these unfounded, ignorant, un-compassionate, comparisons.

        • iDontBuyIt

          Oh stop, you are completely sick using cancer patients as a way to get your pot legal so you can sell it. And slippery slope? That is the strategy of course, get it legal narrowly, and then turn it into a free for all with doctors giving out pot cards to everyone, pot stores opening, and billboards marketing and targeting new customer (“kids”). Stop the ruse using cancer. It is sick.

          • nick p

            really…you think a majority of Americans who want medical marijauna want it to target kids for profit? how would this ballot question do that exactly?

          • iDontBuyIt

            you know how. use “medical” as a way to dupe voters into making it legal. then set up the pot stores, the pot billboards, everyone gets pot cards for made up “ailments” and let the pot free for all begin. But of course, the added supply and reselling profit opportunities will force you to look for more new customers, and where drugs are concerned, new customers = kids.
            of course you won’t tell the voters the ultimate plan. but of course, one just has to look at the scam in CA, where the feds had to come in to shut things down, to see the future.

    • Tall_and_Sweet

      Malcolm, I agree with you but I think you’re in the wrong room. This here is for comments on the wise decision to finally do the right thing and legalize medical marijuana.

      • iDontBuyIt

        He’s not in the wrong room. He’s voting for question 3 because he knows it will lead to a legal pot free for all.

  • J Powell

    As a liberal voter, I have facts and am voting NO. It is concerning to see compassionate care and medical marijuanna linked. They are not the same. Please do your research first before voting.
    J Powell

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Malcolm-Kyle/100001700224506 Malcolm Kyle

      Your blind support of prohibition provides the money gangs use to buy guns, and the money that the enemies of this great nation use to finance hijackings and bombings. Taking away their drug money by regulating drugs for adult use will strike a blow to crime at every level. This is none other than sound public policy.

      Surely you know by now that Eliot Ness never put the bootleggers out of business. Repeal and a regulated market for alcohol did that in short order. There hasn’t been a shootout over beer routes since 1933.

      It’s time for you to wise up and help us curtail the dangerous expansions of federal police powers, the encroachments on individual liberties and the increasing government expenditure devoted to enforcing the unworkable policy of drug prohibition. Or would you prefer to still struggle with confusing the consequences of drug misuse from those of drug prohibition while we all go to Hades in a hand cart? All of the above mentioned problems, including the present economic recession, will be with us until we legally regulate the market in all drugs – Prohibition is not regulation; it is a hideous waking nightmare for all of us!

      • iDontBuyIt

        Your blind support of drus abuse for profit is not liberal. More libertarian with a republican anti regulation view.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Hunt/100003205282238 Kevin Hunt

      So you would rather see a cancer patient use opiates instead of marijuana? Opiates cause thousands of overdose deaths per year; marijuana zero.

      Liberals like you typically vote against laws that decrease the size of government and get the government out of our private lives. No wonder our govt is $16 trillion in debt. Did your research expose the fact that heavy spending on marijuana prohibition has not decreased supply or demand?

      Past month marijuana users in the U.S. have increased slightly from 5.8%
      in 1988 to 6.6% in 2009 (Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data
      Archive), despite the war on drugs spending increasing from $9.7 billion in
      1990 to $15 billion in 2010 (Source: ONDCP fact sheet 172873).

      • iDontBuyIt

        You don’t care about cancer patients. You care about setting up stores, erecting billboards, and getting new customers for more profit for your drug abuse business.

    • http://twitter.com/Coinspinn3r Coinspinner

      Giving power blindly to some king somewhere (and over your own health matters no less!) is not “liberal” voting.

      Vote to let people make up their own mind over their own body, I don’t care if you call that liberal or conservative, it’s my own body.

      • iDontBuyIt

        But it’s our town, and we don’t want to give open access to those who profit from abuse to set up shop and erect the billboards filled with lies to get more people hooked into a daily wake and bake.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODSIAGC55PNMR6HUVTUMTR7SQY chris o
      • iDontBuyIt

        Looks like you cherry pick your facts and ignore the rest.

        • nick p

          NIH (National Institutes of Health), AMA, and ACP endorse medical marijuana.

          • iDontBuyIt

            Not quite. As usual, you cherry pick information and ignore the complete picture:

            NIH: “At present, there is insufficient evidence to recommend inhaling Cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or cancer treatment–related side effects.”

            AMA: “This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based
            18 medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the
            therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product.”

            ACP: “Undesired effects include impairment of short-term
            memory, attention, motor skills, reaction times, and the organization and integration
            of complex information”

          • nick p

            thanks you found the side effects to a drug called marijuana. you proved smoke is bad for your lungs (they [NIH]suggest it be taken orally) and you also proved it should be prescribed only by doctors (which this ballot does..medical marijuna)

          • iDontBuyIt

            And it sets up pot stores and lets people grow their own, which of course never works. It quickly becomes a pot free for all.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODSIAGC55PNMR6HUVTUMTR7SQY chris o

          well if you got something other than a dumb response to add, please do

  • Richard Rozay

    As mentioned, what sensational garbage from the Herald. “New England’s pot mecca”, when VT and ME already allow it for medical use. Please. We have the facts – and we’re voting yes.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODSIAGC55PNMR6HUVTUMTR7SQY chris o

      and rhode island

    • iDontBuyIt

      What facts? That medical pot is just a scam as has been shown in VT and ME.

  • http://www.facebook.com/preb325 Paul Preble

    I’M voting yes