In November of this year many Massachusetts voters will get the opportunity to vote on issues linked to the legalization of marijuana and medical marijuana. Voters in 73 towns and cities, equating to around 12% of the Massachusetts population, will have the opportunity to express their opinions, courtesy of the Medical Marijuana Reform Groups listed below, which are behind this public policy question (PPQ). State citizens are able to petition to include PPQs on the ballot papers; although votes are non-binding, they are seen by the legislature as a guide to voter opinion on specific issues.

In fact, this year is no different from the previous 10 years – marijuana activists began using PPQs back in 2000 in an attempt to get medical marijuana at least legalized in Massachusetts – and their rate of success is admirable, with 41 PPQs being passed with an average of 64.5% of the vote. Previous PPQs have concentrated on:

  • Medical marijuana
  • Marijuana decriminilization
  • Hemp
  • Legalization or tax and regulate

It was these PPQs which paved the way for the marijuana decriminalisation initiative of 2008 and organizers are hopeful that they can build on their previous successes and work towards legalization of marijuana and medical marijuana.

Spokesman for MassCann/NORML, Bill Downing, said, “We have a bunch of PPQs this year. There are a set of medical marijuana ones and a set of legalization ones. We’re using the medical ones strategically to target individuals who have sway, and for the legalization ones, we used the results of the 2008 decriminalization vote to target communities with high decrim vote levels.”

Voters in nine of the districts will vote on whether state representatives should be instructed to vote for marijuana legalization, while, in another nine districts, voters will be asked to urge state representatives to vote in favor of medical marijuana legislation.


Author Dianne Morgan

More posts by Dianne Morgan

Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • Sheena says:

    Marijuana can ruin your life if you did not realize it.

    Seattle Chiropractor

  • It is fantastic that the virtual birth place of the United States supported medical marijuana by a strong margin, 63%! Usually, anything that passes by 2% is a landslide. Our presidents rarely enjoy that kind of directive.
    Massachusetts, since decriminalizing under an ounce had lax mj laws. But now they drafters of ballot question 3 actually put some time into devising it. Instead of California’s fiction of collectives becoming dispensaries, Mass actually wrote dispensaries into the law. Buying and selling cannabis to lawful patients, you got it. Finally a state gets mmj right. If we have 8 more, we would have a majority and congress would have to act.

  • a fake name says:

    im realy depressed and ive even tried to off myself and i use multiple drugs to get thru the day but weed works the best and is least hazerdouse to my health i realy do feel like im going crazy and i hate waking up do i Qualify?

  • DAN says:

    Have had MS since 1981. Smoke all the time. Work 40 hours/week, pay taxes, 3 sons all college grads. It is hard to acquire sometime and I run out often, can’t really afford any quantity to last for more than a week which forces me to constantly seek it out.

    • Wee Bee says:

      Have you considered growing some Dan? It’s quite easy and will give you a dependable suupply at a fraction of the cost and avoid the need to go out and deal with drug dealers.
      There’s an enormous amount of info available online. This is a good starting point.

  • zachary says:

    i am a mechanic/ auto collison tech. i suffer from scoliosis, at times i have large ammounts of lower back pain, and it helps me a lot, i dont know if scoliosis qualifys for medical or not? the the sucky part is i have the back problems and im only 20 years old. Basicaly is wat im asking that does scoliosis qualify for medical cannabis, becuase it is a disease?. i have asthma as well, but when i medicate, i can breath like a new born baby, i would think it wouldnt help with the asthma but it does and if it helps then it helps. expecially with my lower back.

    • Pan Pot says:

      Each state has its own medical marijuana state laws and its own set of qualifying conditions. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the state government of MA decides.

    • Liberace says:

      Any kind of chronic pain would normally qualify for medical marijuana treatment

    • Angel says:

      Zachary, I have scoliosis too. It was almost inoperatable when I was a kid w/an “S” curve of 45/44 degrees. I had my spine fused w/a harrington rod. I had the surgery back in the 70’s when I was 13 y.o. Back then they didn’t remove the rod like they now so I now have chronic pain from it. I also have asthma n a few other goodies. There r alot of conditions that r seen as qualifying for mmj. Just look for a clinic that has doctors who have experience w/mmj n can evaluate u on whether u qualify. I just sent my info to Cannamed of Boston. It’s located in Framingham, MA. I spoke w/the intake person n he told me that cuz of my various medical conditions I am prequalified/approved for a med card. I have to bring $199 for the evaluation n I believe, the card. U should look them up n give them a call.

  • Sandra Bruso says:

    I have Arthritis and it helps me with the pain i have daily.

  • sheila says:

    Please go to sign the petition to make it legal to grow in the USA. We need everyone’s help to sign also. Get a whole group of people to sign the petition. Alcohol is legal and kills thousands, marijuana has killed no one. Let those who need it have it..make it legal now.

  • albert says:

    Can somebody tell me if you have to be a resident of a legalized state in order to get a medical card

  • Name says:

    I am suffering from depression and anxiety. If you don’t have it then don’t judge the sickness. I stick strongly to my Christian religion and I DO NOT break the law because of this. I take prescribed drugs that make me feel like I am on opiates. On my medication I can’t drive, work, or be in public because I am out of my mind. I am prescribed to take this everyday.

    I told my doctor that I don’t want to be a drug addict so I refuse to take it that often. The doctor changed it to as needed. I take 2.5mg of Xanex about once a week. This means I suffer through 80% of my panic attacks. A few years ago I strayed from my faith and was introduced to cannabis. It changed my life.

    I was happy, functional and my friends and family told me they were happy because I wasn’t drugged or having a breakdown. In moderation cannabis is a powerfully helpful plant. I have not had cannabis in a long time as I am back to practicing my religion.

    I beg that it is legalized for medical use so that I can again benefit from this plant that God has blessed us with. I will truly give me my life back.

  • Abdul Arthritis says:

    Would sign on the petition but most of you are crabs will just leave the state! who wants to go a holistic church or any church for that matter, these dealers are rich for a reason because they are all students, BU, Harvard, North Eastern, Comm. aver, will eventually become candidates for the state of MA or elsewhere.

    When you get past this crambo black, Hispanic dealers and white dudes, wearing tight jeans with suspenders like at Harvard hemp shop you rather figure it all out! – Opinion

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