Tuesday's Massachusetts ballot questions


Massachusetts voters will consider three statewide ballot questions.

But Question 1, "Availability of Motor Vehicle Repair Information," the so-called "right to repair" law, has become moot since a compromise agreement was passed by the Legislature in July after the ballot question was approved. Both advocates and opponents of requiring automobile makers to provide buyers of new automobiles and their favored car repair shop to have the same diagnostic information as automobile dealers do are urging a "no" vote on this question.

Question 2, "Prescribing Medication to End Life," is a relevant question on the statewide ballot, however.

The proposed law would allow a physician licensed in Massachusetts to prescribe medication, at a terminally ill patient's request, to end that patient's life. It would require certain circumstances, however. To qualify, a patient would have to be an adult resident who is mentally capable of making and communicating health care decisions; has been diagnosed by attending and consulting physicians as having an incurable, irreversible disease that will, within reasonable medical judgment, cause death within six months; and who voluntarily expresses a wish to die and has made an informed decision.

A "yes" vote would enact the proposed law alllowing a physician licensed in Massachusetts to prescribe medication at the request of a terminally ill patient meeting certain conditions to end that person's life. A "no" vote would make no change in existing law, meaning things stay the same.

Proponents say "this choice isn't for everyone, but everyone has the right to this choice." Visit www.YesOnDignity.com for more arguments on this side. Opponents, which includes the Massachusetts Medical Society, say "Massachusetts should improve access to quality health care for terminally ill patients, not access to suicide." Visit www.StopAssistedSuicide.org for more arguments on this side.

Question 3, "Medical Use of Marijuana," would eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients.

To qualify, a patient must have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, ALS, or multiple sclerosis. The patient would also have to obtain a written certification, from a physician with whom the patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship, that the patient has a specific debilitating medical condition and would likely obtain a net benefit from medical use of marijuana.

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. A "no" vote would make no change in existing laws.

Proponents say it "will ease the suffering of thousands of people with cancer, Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, and other debilitating conditions." Visit www.com passionforpatients.com for more arguments on this side. Opponents say "the loopholes for corruption and exploitation are enormous" in this law because it would virtually allow anyone to grow pot or operate a pot shop. Visit www.mavotenoon question3.com for more arguments on this side.

A non-binding ballot question, dubbed the "Democracy Amendment" by supporters, will appear on the ballot in all Berkshire County towns, and throughout most of the state.

The question seeks to reinforce a resolution approved by state lawmakers calling on Congress to begin action on a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling that opened the floodgates for big-money campaign contributions by unidentified political action committees, corporations and unions.

The ballot question is as follows: Shall the state senator or representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution affirming that corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and both Congress and the states may place limits on political contributions and political spending?

It's a "yes" or "no" vote. As a non-binding question, it wouldn't become law based on the vote on Tuesday.

A second, non-binding question, known as "Budget for All" by its backers, will appear on the ballot in Southern Berkshire County.

It asks voters to call upon Congress and the president to prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits, or to housing, food and unemployment assistance; create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, housing, renewable energy, transportation and other public services; provide new revenues for these purposes and to reduce the long-term federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, ending offshore tax havens, and raising taxes on incomes over $250,000; and redirect military spending to these domestic needs by reducing the military budget, ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home safely now.

A "yes" or "no" vote will be indicated for ballot questions. As a non-binding question, it also wouldn't become law based on the vote.

Compiled by Eagle staff from the statewide ballot questions, Eagle archives and the Secretary of State's voter information.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions