October 27 2016
Letter to the Editor: Vote No on Question 4
The following is a Letter to the Editor:
We in Massachusetts will also weigh in on four ballot questions. Question 4 proposes to legalize marijuana for recreational use. I urge Burlington voters to vote NO on Question 4.
Question 4 was written by marijuana industry professionals who have a huge financial stake in the outcome. This bias is evidenced by the enormous marketing campaign that has accompanied this initiative. The pro-question 4 lobby has spent nearly $5 million advertising their position. This is compared to less than $160,000 spent by the opposing side.
According to The Herald News, the Massachusetts Medical Society and 10 statewide physician specialty groups formally oppose Question 4, citing concerns about increased access to marijuana for teenagers.
Question 4 is also opposed by Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Attorney General Maura Healey. They are joined in their opposition by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, The Association for Behavioral Healthcare, the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Mental Illness, and many other reputable organizations.
Our political and civic leaders, and medical professionals oppose question 4 because they are concerned about the health and welfare of Massachusetts residents. The proponents of this measure stand to make billions of dollars selling marijuana in our state. They are not concerned with our health and safety.
Question 4 leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and communities across Massachusetts with have to deal with the fallout from this one-sided implementation of a risky proposal. Unlike the sale of alcohol, communities may not be allowed to ban the sale of marijuana. The wording of the question is vague and it is possible that communities may be forced to accept pot shops against their better judgement. Burlington is a very attractive location for businesses and many marijuana retailers will surely want to locate here.
For these reasons, I urge Burlington residents to vote NO on Question 4.