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September 16, 2012 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Question 3 is a Massachusetts ballot initiative concerning the legalization of marijuana for medical use. There are some organizations opposed to the initiative, who failed to register certain domain names. The Massachusetts voter's guide accidentally directed voters to one of the unclaimed domains, now the satirical VoteNoOnQuestion3.org
posted by Devils Rancher (44 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I find it telling that the Vote No on 3 site seems to be making an argument against the law that completely ignores the issue of the drug itself.
posted by sendai sleep master at 10:44 AM on September 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's the real opposition site. The one linked as "organizations" in the post looks like it's from a previous election's Question 3.
posted by parudox at 10:50 AM on September 16, 2012


Did you link to a site about a completely unrelated Question 3 on purpose? Is that what you meant by "organizations failed to register certain domain names"?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 10:51 AM on September 16, 2012


No I copied the link from the wrong tab. A mod might fix that if they're feeling charitable.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:53 AM on September 16, 2012


Fixed? I think?
posted by cortex at 11:01 AM on September 16, 2012


So now we have the real fake site? I'm so relieved.
posted by scalefree at 11:15 AM on September 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fixed? I think?

Fixed. Thanks.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:28 AM on September 16, 2012


The vote No people deliver a pretty good slapdown. I'm pro-(strictly) medical marijuana myself, and I love to smoke it occasionally too, but anyone who claims weed is just this harmless wonder drug is full of shit.
posted by Flashman at 11:35 AM on September 16, 2012


“Marijuana is not medicine, no way, no how. It is ludicrous,” Dr. Jay Broadhurst told the News Service. “The bottom line is if our commonwealth wants to have a debate and discussion about legalizing marijuana then let’s do that.”

That's actually a pretty close approximation of my feelings on the subject, but I'll vote yes for anything that seems like a step on the way to a saner drug policy.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:42 AM on September 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Heh! They made a mistake trying to monetize it. The banner at the top of the page keeps filling with drug addiction and rehab ads....
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:43 AM on September 16, 2012


I'm multiply on the record for being pro-legalization. I don't really like where medical has gone because it is fundamentally dishonest and seems so ripe for backlash. A lot of pro-legal people seem to have gotten into this mindset that legalization is inevitable. I think they may forget that just a few decades ago advocates were feeling the same way - a bunch of states had gone the route of decriminalization for personal quantities and it was thought just a matter of time before the first state went on to legalization, and an with the dominoes. Instead the fed (which has never really softened on it) came back all that much stronger against it (exactly what is happening with dispensaries right now), a reactionary "save the children" activism organized opposition, and most of the decriminalization laws were reversed, there were virtually no credible legalization efforts and the few there were failed.

I can easily see the stoner-culture medical debacle - the colorful candy treats (its like they're trying to present maximum irresponsibility), the ludicrous "approval doctors" with their lurid store-front "practices" and their deserved reputation for being rubber-stamp permit factories, the entirely permeable border between the medical and illegal production and sale - creating a backlash that leads right back to square one. Yeah, I know culture is shifting and maybe that will carry the day. I'm certainly not in the trenches of legalization activism in any way and maybe there is an argument that the social normalization effect of quasi-legal medical consumerism is worth more than the P.R. detriments. I don't know.

But I will say this - the medical potential of marijuana and/or its derivatives is a real thing and anyone who argues otherwise is revealing their prejudice. The government has had the ability to shut down the medical argument any time it wanted to simply by rescheduling marijuana to an appropriate level reflecting the truth about it - that it is intoxicating, has a relatively low but real potential for abuse, has extremely low toxicity, and known and potential medical benefits. And allowing it to be prepared and distributed through the existing drug distribution channels, the way the much more intoxicating, much higher abuse potential, much more toxic opiates are distributed. By propping up the insane fiction that marijuana is more dangerous than heroin and has no medical potential, by refusing to allow appropriate research and development of marijuana-derived medicine, the federal government created the climate for the problematical, inconsistent state laws governing medical. Things like the failure of Prop. 19 in California demonstrate that medical marijuana enjoys support that legalization does not yet have. The (arguable) exploitation of that support by legalization advocates as a wedge issue lies largely at the feet of the DEA and its unreasonable and unscientific positions on marijuana.
posted by nanojath at 12:23 PM on September 16, 2012 [19 favorites]


If doctors prescribed Vicodin or Adderall the way they prescribe marijuana in states where it's legal to do so... I can't even imagine. The standard seems to be incredibly low. That doesn't mean it's not something that has an actual medicinal use, but I do think it's dishonest to lobby for "medicinal marijuana" without intending for it to be treated the same way that other prescriptions for controlled substances are.

I've never touched the stuff myself. I'm in favor of general legalization as long as we have stuff like tobacco around, I guess, but I wouldn't lobby for it. But I'm a lot more in favor of these laws because I've lost family members to cancer and AIDS and I don't believe that offering an inferior version in a pill is an adequate substitute for something that actually works. It's a lot harder to get that point across when, for example, the language that got proposed in Ohio recently that didn't make it to the ballot seemed plainly designed to remove as many obstacles as possible to getting it into the hands of patients. That's a lovely principle, but it's not how any other prescribed controlled substance works.

The pro-medicinal-use people going into "hey, it's harmless!" seem to miss the point. It doesn't need to be harmless. Lots of things that are prescribed aren't harmless. Harmless is the argument to use for legalization overall. When you talk like that, when you make jokes about twinkies, of course people don't act like you're discussing a serious medical treatment.
posted by gracedissolved at 12:37 PM on September 16, 2012


If doctors prescribed Vicodin or Adderall the way they prescribe marijuana in states where it's legal to do so... I can't even imagine. The standard seems to be incredibly low.

On the other hand, both Vicodin and Adderall are more dangerous (in terms of overdose potential) and potentially habit-forming than marijuana. Whereas other prescription drugs - some antidepressants, for example, speaking from experience - are also relatively easy to come by because they're not seen as having that potential. When I moved cross-country recently and no longer had a prescription for my SSRI, I made an appointment with a doc, spent five or ten minutes talking about my history with depression and antidepressants, and walked out with a prescription. Not that much harder than getting a cannabis recommendation in California, except for getting the appointment in the first place.

So while you have a point, that medical marijuana is not treated like most medicines ... comparing it to opiates and stimulants is probably also not a useful thing to do.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 12:44 PM on September 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't know where you're from, but in Florida, pill mills prescribed Oxycontin (Vicodin is a painkiller of the past) with very little evaluation or standards, Gracedissolved.

I know people who've walked in and gotten their Adderall and/or refills without any sort of psychiatric evaluation.

I think marijuana can be dangerous and that it's not for everyone, myself included. I'd rather it not be completely egalized, but only because I'd rather not see corporations get a hold of it.
posted by sibboleth at 1:30 PM on September 16, 2012


The mainstream pill industry has created tens of thousands of opium addicts since oxycotin and its ilk became legal for prescription; furthermore, piles and piles of unscrupulous doctors supply these addicts in order to make a quick buck. Marijuana is much, much, much lower harm than opiods; there's really no reason it should be illegal.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:41 PM on September 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


because I'd rather not see corporations get a hold of it.

This argument is complete garbage, I'm sorry.

There is a lot of ignorance in this thread. Get educated on the subject.

And legalize it.
posted by victory_laser at 1:46 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Medical marijuana doesn't instantly lead to the carnival sideshow of Green Doctor dispensaries as it did in California. That's a slippery slope argument, and the real problem is caused by simple regulatory failure. It's not rocket science: ban advertising, and ban prescription issuance on the premises of a dispensary. Is there some legal impediment to the existence of such legal restrictions at the state level?
posted by mek at 1:47 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


mek: Is there some legal impediment to the existence of such legal restrictions at the state level?

I don't know, but I know that California gave quite a bit of leeway to local jurisdictions to set up where dispensaries could be set up. The county where I used to work had a handful of people who fit a fairly strict criteria of location limitations (1,000 feet from residences or residential areas, schools, parks, public youth facilities, things of that sort), but the neighbors and local sheriffs would often come out with evidence that dispensaries were crime hot-spots (though their evidence was suspect at best, as trying to associate the small, semi-rural communities in the county with those in Los Angeles county was a stretch at best).

I don't know if the state laws only allowed local jurisdictions to set locations, or also place limits on distribution. The fact was, the communities were never supportive of dispensaries, even ones that were set up as co-ops or something where you couldn't just flash your card and get some pot, and the supervisors who would have to support the dispensaries didn't want to upset their constituents.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:58 PM on September 16, 2012


Flashman: The vote No people deliver a pretty good slapdown.

The first attempt at getting a dispensary set up that got public coverage was proposed by a guy who had pictures of himself smoking from The World's Largest BongTM or something like that. Medical marijuana proponents really need to be careful with keeping a clean profile, because stupid websites like 420.Girls4Ganja.com harms your reputation when viewed by people skeptical of the aspects of medical marijuana.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:04 PM on September 16, 2012




HIGH TIMES TV - PSA
posted by homunculus at 3:27 PM on September 16, 2012


because I'd rather not see corporations get a hold of it.

I'm not a big fan of corporations or anything, but when it comes to them o los Zetas? I'm gonna go have to go with the corporations.
posted by Three Books at 4:30 PM on September 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure how anyone could "get a hold of" a plant that's as easy to grow as cannabis. It's nowhere near as difficult to grow as tobacco.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 5:18 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not that worried about corporate-grown weed since the plant is so stupid easy to grow. It's like growing your own lettuce, the time investment is nearly nonexistent if you actually care.
posted by mek at 5:26 PM on September 16, 2012


Well, making it legal, but with onerous licensing requirements, would be one way to do it.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 5:30 PM on September 16, 2012


I'd rather not see corporations get a hold of it

I actually don't dismiss this thought. Tobacco companies have managed to make tobacco quite a bit more dangerous and habit forming by fucking around with additives to perfect it as a nicotine delivery system (made it quite a bit more of a fire hazard while they were at it). I'd be pretty disappointed in legalized marijuana that wasn't on par with alcohol (permitted to produce your own in reasonable quantities, legal commercial production reasonably accessible for small producers) but even with that, you know, it's not very hard to brew beer either but Budweiser exists.

But I don't see any downsides like this to be likely to even approach the level of harm caused by prohibition.
posted by nanojath at 7:40 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]




one out of every six federal inmates is in federal prison for marijuana.

A system that employees 420,000 people. Politically it's a very bad time to be putting people out of work...
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:02 AM on September 17, 2012


I live in MA, favor legalization, and have no idea whether I should vote for this as a step in the right direction or wait for a better bill to come along; I'm really torn.
posted by ook at 4:49 AM on September 17, 2012


ook: I live in MA, favor legalization, and have no idea whether I should vote for this as a step in the right direction or wait for a better bill to come along; I'm really torn.

I'd advise contacting NORML. They pay for actual lobbyists and are pretty in tune with the political side of the fight. They can probably advise you on your vote, if you're torn simply because you're not sure if it'll help or hurt.
posted by gilrain at 5:43 AM on September 17, 2012


But I will say this - the medical potential of marijuana and/or its derivatives is a real thing and anyone who argues otherwise is revealing their prejudice.

Amen. I pretty much use it as a litmus test: anyone who says medical marijuana is a sham does not know of what they speak.

5 Marijuana Compounds That Could Help Combat Cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons (If Only They Were Legal)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:02 AM on September 17, 2012


medical marijuana in california is a service disproportionately provided to young white males with jobs and educations (according to this study i just now found to confirm my biases). it's a fig leaf that protects already privileged people from legal consequences while doing nothing to ameliorate the damage done to the actual victims of the drug war.

i think it's about as racist and unjust as the system it's supplanting.
posted by Ictus at 12:50 PM on September 17, 2012


it's a fig leaf that protects already privileged people from legal consequences while doing nothing to ameliorate the damage done to the actual victims of the drug war.

An alternate viewpoint: My Mom and Me

also, from your link: "four in five (79.3 percent) reported having first tried other medications prescribed by their physicians, almost half of which were opiates"

So, it might be just as correct to say:

"medicine in california is a service disproportionately provided to young white males with jobs and educations."
posted by mrgrimm at 1:16 PM on September 17, 2012


I'm certainly not in the trenches of legalization activism in any way and maybe there is an argument that the social normalization effect of quasi-legal medical consumerism is worth more than the P.R. detriments. I don't know.

Personally, I think it's absolutely worth it. It shows the average person what happens when marijuana is de-facto legal, and the answer is "not much". The data on what can happen to teen use (it's gone down in Colorado even as it's gone up nationally) alone is a slap in the face for the drug warriors.

As for the "the stoner-culture medical debacle", I see little reason to care so long as I can't watch television for an hour without sitting through three commercials for Cialis, testosterone supplementation, or Enbrel/Chantix/Lunesta/insert-drug-with-major-side-effects-here. Medical marijuana is strictly small change when it comes to medical consumerism -- subtract the disdain we tend to have for stoner culture and you're left with institutions which hand out a mild, pleasant drug which helps with many ailments as if it were a mild, pleasant drug which helps with many ailments. Big whoop.

I'm not a huge fan of the patent-medicine/carnival atmosphere in states like California, but it's no more harmful and a lot more honest than some of what goes on in the average doctor's office, where even the clock on the wall has been paid for by a for-profit drug company.

The government has had the ability to shut down the medical argument any time it wanted to simply by rescheduling marijuana to an appropriate level reflecting the truth about it - that it is intoxicating, has a relatively low but real potential for abuse, has extremely low toxicity, and known and potential medical benefits. [...] Things like the failure of Prop. 19 in California demonstrate that medical marijuana enjoys support that legalization does not yet have. The (arguable) exploitation of that support by legalization advocates as a wedge issue lies largely at the feet of the DEA and its unreasonable and unscientific positions on marijuana.

Absolutely. But reclassification would keep the government from (arguably) exploiting marijuana's Schedule I classification as a wedge issue in the War on Drugs. I think the idea that legalization advocates are "exploiting" the medical issue is topsy-turvy -- America's wide support for medical marijuana partly stems from their work over the last twenty years, and fighting for Federal reclassification has always been part of that. If early legalization advocates had had their way, the Compassionate IND program would be the primary picture of how medical marijuana works in California today, not the dispensary system. This is a pretty good overview of the early history of the movement, and it makes the point that NORML, High Times, and others were on the ground floor of the modern medical marijuana movement back in the late 80s -- a movement which was, at the time, associated with the AIDS crisis at the height of its social stigma. The idea that their involvement was "exploitation" strikes me as mistaken, to put it mildly.

On preview, with regards to racism and injustice: I think it's pretty ridiculous to compare "a service disproportionately provided to young white males with jobs and educations" with the systematic use of state-sanctioned violence to imprison and disenfranchise poor minorities. I would tend to agree that medical MJ doesn't ameliorate the damage done to these victims of the Drug War, but that's because it can't -- this is mainly an issue of disproportionate arrests and convictions among minority groups, and that's an issue of systemic racism within the justice system. The fact that young, employed white men don't tend to get busted for weed (fig leaves or not) is a symptom of the larger system medical marijuana itself has to operate in, not a sign that medical MJ is "supplanting" it with a separate system.
posted by vorfeed at 2:00 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]






*Disclaimer*- I work for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and we are a coalition partner working with the MA Patient Advocacy Alliance in support of the passage of Question 3 in MA.

First, I want to address the matter of the spoof site listing in the Voter's Guide, because there's been some confusion and misinformation surrounding it. Each side got to submit their information, their argument for/against, etc., and when No on 3 submitted their info, they listed a .org domain. However, they never actually registered the domain, so someone else did. I can tell you with absolute honesty that I have no idea who or what entity it was that did it. At any rate, there was no trickery or malfeasance on the part of the Yes on 3 folks, there was simply a massive oversight by those organizing No on 3.

As far as the initiative itself, I really do hope that MA voters will seriously consider a yes vote. The proposed setup bears almost no resemblance to the free-for-all scenarios playing out in CA or CO, and much more closely resembles the laws on the books already in most other New England states. There's a hard cap on the number of dispensaries statewide (35) and a hard cap per county as well (5). All dispensaries must be set up as non-profits.

I've had the privilege to meet a number of the patient advocates who are working to get their stories out to the commonwealth, and let me tell you, it shut my tittering pot jokes right up a long time ago. There's a strong emotion evoked when you see someone who is dying of cancer who can eat for the first time in days, but it's not humor.

I met a young man with bone necrosis, who had to keep leaving a meeting to go throw up because his pain and nausea were so bad. When he'd medicated, he was like a different person. Engaged, affable, and not constantly sick. I also met Steve, who has advanced ALS.

Nearly all of these patients have access to various pharmaceuticals like Oxycontin or Vicodin, but have decided not to take them. They're addictive, and for some they make nausea and appetite issues even worse than their conditions already do.

Anyway, you can find the entire text of the initiative here. Please consider it.
posted by rollbiz at 7:15 PM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm going to link to this comment every time some idiot parrots the "only stoner morons and college kids support legalization lol go smoke weed in ur parents basement" line at me from now on.
posted by tehloki at 7:11 AM on September 20, 2012






Why Gary Johnson Won't Shut Up About Marijuana

The Movement to Take Marijuana Seriously isn't helped by Gary Johnson's jazz hands.

As far as the initiative itself, I really do hope that MA voters will seriously consider a yes vote.

Good luck. Looks like you're in decent shape--from the Warren link ^^^^, as of last Wednesday, 59% of Massachusetts voters were in favor of Question 3.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:20 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]








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