Tuesday October 2, 2012

November's ballot Question 3 is an egregious proposal to legalize marijuana under the guise of "medicine." Question 3 would open 35 pot shops and allow anyone with a self-diagnosed condition to receive marijuana, carry a 60-day supply (hundreds of joints) and grow marijuana in their homes. There's no limit on refills, no expiration date, no minimum age.

Regulatory oversight would be another unfunded state mandate and illegal under federal law! States with medical marijuana experience increased widespread use of marijuana and have higher rates of teen pot use. Massachusetts youth already smoke marijuana 30 percent more than the national average. A new study verifies a significant drop in IQ among those who start use in adolescence - further evidence of the neurotoxic effect of marijuana on the developing brain.

If marijuana has medicinal value, then thoroughly research and test it through clinical trials for patient safety like all medicines. "Medical" pot should be required to pass FDA standards, prescribed by a licensed physician, and accessed through a licensed pharmacy - not grown in someone's backyard and sold in corner pot shops.

True compassion is seeing that our sick and elderly receive the care they deserve - not be used as a front to legalize pot.

SHELLEY BROOKS

Ashley Falls