Letter: Legalizing Medical Marijuana Will Lead to Teen Drug Use

A letter to the editor in opposition to 2012 Massachusetts State Ballot Question 3.

The following is a letter to the editor by Marilyn G. Belmonte of the Burlington Drug & Alcohol Task Force:

Dear Editor:

I have been involved with educating communities about teen substance abuse and helping families torn apart by teen drug use.  Ballot question 3 scares me.  I am afraid for families of teenagers, Massachusetts schools, and mostly for our children.

At first glance, the question appears to allow safe access of marijuana for our sick and suffering citizens.  But the question is does NOT match up with the actual proposed law.  Ballot Question 3 may sound compassionate, but it was written with negligence for our teens.

If passed, what would the proposed law allow?

  • Marijuana would not become a prescription drug.  Only the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs. Therefore marijuana will not be sold in pharmacies by health professionals.
  • 35 marijuana retail stores will be allowed in MA in the first year.  This number can be increased after that with no maximum number of dispensaries specified.
  • Any one 21 years of age can operate or work in marijuana retail store.  No education is required, including no high school diploma.  The only restriction is they can not have a felony conviction in a drug offense.
  • A “Patient” can be any age.  There is no Minimum Age Requirement to receive a recommendation from a doctor for marijuana.
  • There is no Expiration Date or Limit to the number of Refills. A “patient” never needs to return to the doctor to continue using marijuana.
  • People with marijuana cards can legally possess a 60-day supply of marijuana.  But, this 60-day supply is NOT defined in proposed law.  It could be hundreds of joints depending on each person’s daily dose.
  • People can buy pot plants to legally grow marijuana in their homes if they live an inconvenient distance from a dispensary.  But the distance to be eligible for home growing is not specified in the proposed law.
  •  Anyone can claim they need marijuana.  The proposed law lists serious conditions but then states “and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician.”
  • Marijuana based food products such as brownies, cookies, cakes and candy, will be legally sold as “medicine”.  Marijuana candies imported from other states have already been confiscated from MA high school students.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will have only120 days to create a statewide marijuana system. But sales will begin on January 1, 2013 regardless of how long it takes to create a state program. 
  • Marijuana retail shops must be not-for-profit which means there would be no tax dollars collected by the businesses to cover the cost of regulation. 

Read bill H3885 for yourself.   Is this proposal written for safe access of marijuana ONLY to our ailing citizens?  Don’t be fooled.  Be an informed voter. 


Marilyn G. Belmonte

Burlington, MA

Faydeen Sateriale October 20, 2012 at 02:49 PM
With all this "free and easiness" maybe we should legalize cocaine, meth, heroine and eliminate age restrictions on cigarettes and alcohol?!??! Honestly, I think if medially prescribed marijuana does help just like any other pain or prescribed med it should be prescribed by a doctor. I also believe if we legalize it all then the black market and dealers would be put out of business. But, in return we end up with a much meaner monster running a muck. Do we need traffic lights, speed limits, pay taxes, have laws or plain common courtesy? There needs to be a balance between what we can choose for ourselves and what we as a society choose for all.
Paul Hurteau October 20, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Then why not have doctors prescribe drugs like alcohol and tobacco?? I mean, they should know what dosage to prescribe,, how many shots of tequila we need to fix,,,, Uh, what does tequila fix?? OH. NOTHING , that's right. I can't imagine why a poison can be self prescribed but not marijuana.
Paul Hurteau October 20, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Marilyn Belmonte 8:58 pm on Friday, October 19, 2012 I have volunteered my time as co-chairperson of my town's local teen substance abuse prevention coalition for 12 years. I don't get paid. ____________________________________________________ And in 12 years you still have not learned anything about marijuana.
Not Mitt Romney October 24, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Mary and half her family work at Healthy Outcomes Inc. You GET PAID for that.
Paul Hurteau October 25, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Ok,, I can listen to refer madness or I can listen to successful, educated people who have made a difference world wide. http://marijuanamajority.com You will notice Pat Robertson among the THOUSANDS. Oh, and as far as Law Enforcement views,, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is an international organization of criminal justice professionals who bear personal witness to the wasteful futility and harms of our current drug policies. Our experience on the front lines of the “war on drugs” has led us to call for a repeal of prohibition and its replacement with a tight system of legalized regulation, which will effectively cripple the violent cartels and street dealers who control the current illegal market. http://www.leap.cc


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