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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.

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

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