Massachusetts medical marijuana opponents say law is too ‘vague’ in last-ditch effort

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 12:05 EDT
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Ahead of what appears to be a tidal wave of voter support for legalizing medical marijuana in Massachusetts, the state’s most ardent prohibitionists have staked their last-ditch effort on labeling the proposed law as “vague,” arguing that medical marijuana will be open to “exploitation.”

During a gathering a debate on the statehouse steps on Monday, supporters and opponents of Massachusetts’ Ballot Question 3 squared off on the benefits and downsides of the drug, but one theme seemed to echo repeatedly from the anti crowd.

“The residents of Massachusetts are being sold a law that goes way beyond the idea of being compassionate,” State Senator John F. Keenan (D) said, according to The Boston Globe. “Don’t be fooled. Please read the law.” Speaking to The Wareham Courrier, Keenan added that the law is “vague, ambiguous and open to exploitation.”

Other critics warned that the law hasn’t set a maximum amount of marijuana patients can possess, setting the limit at a “60-day supply” which will be determined at a later date by state regulators. They also noted that while the law does set a ceiling on the number of medical marijuana retail locations, it doesn’t establish zoning rules that prohibit them from certain areas.

Proponents of the law said that it provides for criminal sanctions if individuals fraudulently use or purchase medical marijuana, and sets strict limits on the conditions patients must have in order for a doctor to recommend marijuana.

The actual ballot question, as written by the state’s Attorney General, is available online. An October survey by Public Policy Polling found that about 57 percent of likely voters in Massachusetts support legalizing medical marijuana, while just 31 percent were opposed.

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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