NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

October 15, 2012

Question 3: Sham vs. lifesaver

Patient comfort, legality play into medical marijuana ballot vote

(Continued)

She said that while looking for that traditional, pharmaceutical solution, “my kids were young. For five years, I got letters from school saying they were late and tardy. I was sleep-deprived, the pain kept me up at night. ... I could barely give them the bare necessities.”

As soon as she stopped the pharmaceuticals and went with marijuana, the side-effects disappeared, but more importantly, so did the pain.

“I was more clear-headed; I had energy,” she said. “Now I’m doing fundraisers for the kids, they’re back to playing piano, I am able to be involved in their lives. My life is back, after being in a painful place, and trying to find a legal pharmaceutical.”

She added, “I just wish doctors had the option to prescribe medical marijuana.”

If voters approve Question 3, as some polls indicate they will, doctors will have an option to prescribe medical marijuana to patients who comply with rigorous guidelines, including having been diagnosed with a disease such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS or multiple sclerosis.

The law, as written in the ballot question, would allow patients to keep a 60-day supply of marijuana, while it would permit up to 35 nonprofit dispensaries around the state as eligible to sell the drug. Growers would also be certified by the Department of Public Health to create a steady and regulated supply.

Proponents say that the marijuana would be ingested in vapor format, similar to an inhaler used to ease asthma, or in liquid form, as a tincture. They say it is not the intent of the law to allow or encourage people to smoke joints to ease their pain, since carcinogens are a byproduct of burning marijuana or any other type of leafy tobacco.

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