FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Barstow
MAPA PETITIONS SUPREME COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS
TO CORRECT MISLEADING “MEDICAL” MARIJUANA BALLOT LANGUAGE
(BOSTON, Thursday, May 17, 2012): The Massachusetts Prevention Alliance (MAPA), a group of over 100 organizations from across the Commonwealth, filed a petition asking the Supreme Judicial Court of Suffolk County to correct a misleading description of the ballot initiative to legalize “medical” marijuana.
Unless the Court intervenes, the misleading information will appear in the official Voter Guide published by the Secretary of State and – more significantly – on the actual ballot used in the November election.
“The radical components of this marijuana ballot question are being hidden from the voter. The voters must be provided fair and accurate information. The Secretary of State and Attorney General have a unique responsibility to inform the voters, and we trust the Court will give them the tools to do that,” said Heidi Heilman, president of the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance.
Currently, the voter’s guide and ballot do not adequately inform Massachusetts citizens that:
- A statewide network of at least 35 marijuana “dispensaries,” or retail stores, which operate independently, may sell marijuana in various forms such as ice cream or candy.
- “Patients” will be issued a card that allows them to obtain marijuana for virtually any health condition. There is no minimum age listed in the proposed law for who can become a marijuana “patient.”
- Cardholders will be able to carry and/or transport in their vehicles an undefined 60-day supply of marijuana.
- Cardholders will be able to smoke marijuana in many different locations with other non-patients, including children, present.
- Upon “hardship” application, cardholders will be able to grow an undefined amount of marijuana in their homes.
- Identified caregivers with no mandated training will be able to dispense “medical” marijuana at various locations.
“Proponents of marijuana use should not be able to hijack the election process. With any proposed law, the ‘devil is in the details.’ We trust that the Supreme Court will insist on full disclosure to the citizens of the Commonwealth,” explained Attorney John Sofis Scheft of the Bellotti Law Group.
More than 50 registered voters across the state signed the petition. It is anticipated that the Court will make a final ruling in the coming weeks, in time for the voter’s guide and ballot to be printed in July.
The Massachusetts Prevention Alliance is a statewide organization that provides educational resources and advocates for sound public health and safety policies to protect and promote the health and well-being of all Massachusetts youth. For more information or a copy of the filing visit www.mapreventionalliance.org.