Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jan 2010
Source: Eagle-Tribune, The (MA)
Copyright: 2010 The Eagle-Tribune
Author: Steven S.  Epstein


To the editor:

State Sen. Steven Baddour wants his party to restore voter confidence 
in our political process ("Column: Democrats must regain voters' 
confidence", Jan. 24). If he means it, he will lead efforts to pass 
an effective medical marijuana law before spring to replace the 
18-year-old "Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Act," 
considered a cruel joke because it requires the state contract with a 
federally approved supplier. No administration, including the current 
one, has approved a supply.

Sen. Baddour serves as vice-chair of the Committee on the Judiciary. 
That committee refuses to bring S. 1739, a bill that for almost two 
decades has languished before it, to a vote. While our legislature 
ignores the suffering of patients in Massachusetts, 14 states enacted 
a law that gets it to patients without the approval of the federal 
government. One-third of all Americans live in a state that permits 
medical use. It required a veto in New Hampshire to prevent that 
state from adopting such a law. This fall we will see how those who 
voted to sustain the veto fare.

Sen. Baddour, lead your party back in touch "with the concerns of the 
majority of voters" expressed by over 70 percent of actual voters who 
voted yes on public policy questions calling for medical marijuana 
reform. Support confirmed this past September in a public opinion 
poll conducted by the Political Research Center at Suffolk University 
that found 81 percent support for "changing Massachusetts law to 
allow terminally or seriously ill patients to use, grow and purchase 
marijuana for medical purposes if they have the approval and are 
under supervision of their physicians."

It is unconscionable our Democratic-dominated legislature refuses to 
accept science, the known support of the people, and patient 
testimony that they use it as a substitute for far more dangerous and 
expensive prescription drugs. This is health care reform that lowers 
prescription drug costs.

Steven S. Epstein

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