Peabody Board of Health Urges 'No' Vote on Medical Marijuana

The city's health officials say the data from other states shows that in fact most users of medical marijuana are men in their 30s who have histories of substance abuse, not life-threatening illnesses.

The following statement was submitted by city Health Director Sharon Cameron on behalf of the Peabody Board of Health.

The city of Peabody Board of Health is opposed to Massachusetts referendum Question 3, “Medical Use ofMarijuana.”

The Board of Health has compassion for those suffering from diseases like cancer, AIDs, and other debilitating illnesses. However, the Board of Health opposes Ballot Question 3 for the following reasons:

  1. There is a large body of scientific research demonstrating that smoking may cause cancer, respiratory disease, cardiac disease, and other health problems. Individuals have access to FDA-approved medication containing the active ingredient in marijuana that does not require the user to smoke.
  2. Experience in other states shows that most users of medical marijuana programs (approximately 95 percent of users) do not suffer from chronic, life-threatening diseases such as cancer or HIV/AIDs. In those states, the average medical marijuana user is a 32-year-old male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of life-threatening illness.
  3. Experience in other states also shows that access to medical marijuana increases rates of teen marijuana use. By the 11th grade, one in three Massachusetts teenagers uses marijuana regularly. In our state, most kids seeking treatment for substance abuse are marijuana users.
  4. The Board of Health believes that “medicine” is a term for those products and materials determined, through rigorous evaluation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to be safe and effective when prescribed and distributed in proper dosages for the individual patient. Marijuana has not undergone such evaluation. The use of marijuana as medicine is not supported by the Massachusetts Medical Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Cancer Society, the American Glaucoma Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and many other reputable medical organizations.

The Board of Health believes that Ballot Question 3 will create a public health problem by promoting smoking and by expanding access to marijuana to youth and to adults with substance abuse histories.

The Board of Health supports the further research and development of medication derived from marijuana to ease the pain of those suffering from debilitating illness.

Gustavo Picciuto November 02, 2012 at 07:04 PM
"...The Board of Health believes that Ballot Question 3 will create a public health problem by promoting smoking and by expanding access to marijuana to youth and to adults with substance abuse histories..." How in the world is question 3 going to do that exactly??? Marijuana can be vaporized which does not contain ANY of the carcinogens that "smoked" marijuana has and it can also be in form of an edible, tincture, and even oils or creams; patients rarely smoke their medicine. This law would provide people with a doctor recommendation to obtain medical marijuana so how is this creating access to youth again??? It is disgraceful and shameful for a medical organization to denounce relief from people who need it. A medicine is whatever give you relief and/or comfort; since when has the FDA approved safe and non-toxic medications anyway?? Most of the prescription medication gives you worse side effects than what your using the medicine for in the first place. It is COWARDLY AND SELFISH to not give relief to people for using something that between them and their doctors agreed would bring them relief or help in any way. I am disgusted by the lack of compassion and understanding form the opposition.
Mike Parent November 02, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Here are some FACTS, the Board of Health won't tell you about. They're not from a biased site, but from University Studies. In Fact, one was done by a former National Institute on Drug Abuse Staffer, Dr Henningfield. I invite anyone to refute them with Cited FACTS. Marijuana is the 21st Century "Boogey Man". It suffers from purely unfounded. accusations and fears with a corrupt corporate, political system having an interest. in keeping it illegal along with the Prohibitionists who profit from it. Lie #1 Gateway Drug. Marijuana is NOT a Gateway Drug. Here's a 12 Yr Univ Study that says so;. Andrew Hryckowian - University of Pittsburgh. www.pitt.edu/~ugr/Hrych2.pdf Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Raven-... Marijuana is not a. “gateway” drug. Lie #2 Marijuana is addictive. Marijuana is no more addictive and less harmful than Caffeine;. Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;. Addictiveness of Marijuana - ProCon.org. www.procon.org/view.background... urce.php? resourceID=1492 Lie #'s 3 & 4, Marijuana has not Medicinal Use and is Dangerous. AND, In 1988, a DEA Administrative judge wrote, in a report. Commissioned by the DEA; "16. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of. the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a. supervised routine of medical care." http://www.ccguide.org/young88...”
Mike Parent November 02, 2012 at 09:15 PM
AND, For good measure, Med Marijuana doesn't increase teen use. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57456999-10391704/medical-marijua... wont-boost-teen-pot-use-study-finds/”
Lisa Caron November 03, 2012 at 04:26 AM
the board's recommendation is just another way for the government to put itself between a doctor and his or her patient.
Chris O'Hara November 03, 2012 at 01:18 PM
yep weekend before the vote cue the lying prohibitionists..... I want one just one prohibitionist coward to answer this question instead of hiding from it and pretending it doesnt exsit like the scary monster under the bed so again please just one prohibitionist explain this for me,,,,,,, Why the federal government continues to ignore the empirical evidence before them while simultaneously holding a patent on marijuana themselves is a question for the American people to investigate. Patent number 6630507 states unequivocally that "cannabinoids are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including auto-immune disorders, stroke, trauma, Parkinson's, Alzeheimer's and HIV dementia." The patent, awarded in 2003, is based on research done by the National Institute of Health, and is assigned to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. explain to me why the government owns a patent on a myth?
FlyingTooLow November 03, 2012 at 04:08 PM
"The city's health officials..." Is this the same group that endorses 'big pharma' products? In 2009, 26,000 deaths from prescription medicines. Deaths caused by marijuana...not a single one in recorded history. Several years ago, I had surgery on my right shoulder. Pain medication was prescribed..."take one capsule every 4 hours." I took one capsule. I was down for over 20 hours. When I came to, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. The next time I felt discomfort, I smoked a small amount of marijuana ...pain gone, no after effects. I threw the pills out. Then I wrote: Shoulda Robbed a Bank My contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are. I would be honored by your review.
FlyingTooLow November 03, 2012 at 04:10 PM
All card-carrying members of the DEA need to read: Shoulda Robbed a Bank Here is one of its reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars... If David Sedaris had written 'Catcher in the Rye'..this would be it, June 30, 2012 Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Shoulda Robbed a Bank (Kindle Edition) I have never smoked pot in my life...nor do I ever care to. I read about this book in numerous Huffington Post comments. Thought I would read it because I know nothing about marijuana or the people involved with it. I am ecstatic that I did. Funny, Funny, Funny!!! The chapters are like short stories. Stories about unloading boats with helicopters, close encounters with law enforcement, traveling through the jungles of South America. The chapter about the author's first time smoking marijuana made me feel like I was with him...coughing. All of the characters were just a group of loveable, nice guys and girls. Not what I had been raised to believe...hysterical maniacs high on pot bent on death and mayhem. They were nothing like that. If you have ever read any of David Sedaris' books, and like them...you will love Shoulda Robbed a Bank. And the crazy things happening reminded me of Holden Caufield in 'Catcher in the Rye' and the way he staggered through life. The way the words are put together are like nothing I have ever heard. I am sure I will use many of the sayings found in this book just to dazzle my friends. A terrific read. I love this book.
Paul Hurteau November 03, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Have any of these prohibitionists even go to high school? I'll listen to the real facts: http://www.leap.cc Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is an international organization of criminal justice professionals who bear personal witness to the wasteful futility and harms of our current drug policies. Our experience on the front lines of the “war on drugs” has led us to call for a repeal of prohibition and its replacement with a tight system of legalized regulation, which will effectively cripple the violent cartels and street dealers who control the current illegal market.
rob fernau November 03, 2012 at 06:54 PM
just another example of big pharma partnering with govt. to profit off peoples misery. there is no such thing as a fda approved alternative to the active ingredients of marajuana.
FlyingTooLow November 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM
@rob fernau... Well said.
rob fernau November 03, 2012 at 08:48 PM
notice the time of the last comment. maybe an omen


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »