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Wayland Officials Speak Out Against Medical Marijuana Question

On Monday, the Board of Health joined WaylandCares in taking an official position against the medical marijuana initiative.

As the Nov. 6 election looms, voters are considering not only who they want to lead the government, but also how they will vote on several ballot questions.

In particular, Ballot Question 3, "Medical Use of Marijuana," has created plenty of discussion and, in Wayland, that discussion has reached into some of the town's departments and organizations.

The Committee for Compassionate Medicine argues in favor of the question, saying it will ease suffering for patients with a variety of diseases, while the group Vote No on Question 3 argues the loopholes in the law are too big too ignore.

In Wayland, several groups have placed their support behind the opposition.

On Monday, WaylandCares director Heidi Heilman spoke at the Board of Health's meeting to outline her organization's position statement in opposition to the passage of Ballot Question 3 and discuss the Board of Health's own position on the topic.

WaylandCares is grant-funded organization focused on preventing youth substance abuse. As such, its position statement (attached to this article as a PDF) outlines various aspects of the law that the organization believes could negatively impact youth.

The Board of Health, however, is concerned with the larger Wayland population. It voted unanimously Monday to support a broader position statement related to the question:

“The health and wellbeing of Wayland residents is of the utmost importance to the Board of Health and the introduction of a  potential new marijuana supply line is seen as contrary to this aim. The Board of Health opposes Ballot Question 3 and urges the Board of Selectmen to do the same.”

“I’ve taken care of a lot of cancer patients and more than a few patients with MS [multiple sclerosis], and I have never been approached by someone requesting marijuana or assistance obtaining it,” said Michael Bean, a medical doctor and member of the board. Where is the groundswell of medical provider support?”

Heilman pointed out at the Board of Health meeting that passage of Ballot Question 3 would allow, in the first year, 35 marijuana dispensaries to be set up anywhere in the state, including Wayland, which is a facet of the question that particularly concerns Wayland Police Chief Bob Irving.

Irving is a member of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, which voted to take a stance against Ballot Question 3. It's a position that Irving said he fully supports.

"I think there’s a lot of concerns in the proposed ballot question that I have for our community," said Irving, who did not attend the Board of Health meeting. "I think it could make it easier for our youth to obtain marijuana. It’s also unclear where these 35 dispensaries would be located. If one happened to be located in Wayland, I think it would cause significant concerns for the police department."

Irving said he believes that other states that have passed medical marijuana legislation have "some regrets."

“It just seems to me that a lot more work needs to be done before such a measure is taken,” Irving said. "I think people who really think it will be used to ease the suffering of people who are really sick or dying, I don’t think anyone would be opposed to that. I think the way law is written, it opens it up for abuse."

Wayland's Board of Selectmen is expected to discuss Ballot Question 3 at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 29.

FlyingTooLow October 24, 2012 at 04:43 PM
The closest I have ever seen marijuana come to harming anyone was during an air drop. We brought in 1100 pounds from Jamaica and dropped it in a peanut field in middle Georgia. The bales were dropped from a small plane at 125 feet altitude. One of the bales, about 80 pounds, missed my compadre by only a few feet... but it surely messed up his truck. You can read about it in: Shoulda Robbed a Bank That is my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.
Joey Ismail October 24, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Give it a rest. Watching these idiots run around ranting and raving about a little weed for the sick really makes me wonder who's smoking what. These clowns need to calm down and crawl back in their bottle of booz, silly Hippocrates.
Jillian Galloway October 24, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Paranoid old men keep marijuana illegal and make our children LESS safe.
JRZ October 25, 2012 at 01:14 PM
It is particularly offensive to me when people will force people to suffer unnecessarily because of their irrational fear of marijuana. If people are helped by this medicine, no one should have the right to interfere.
wilson paul October 25, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Go Wayland! About time! Welcome to civilized world! Department of Health - if you really cared about wellbeing of residents in Wayland, all of you would SUPPORT Ballot Question 3. As for dispensary - plenty of rental space available in Wayland. Bring some business to Wayland. It's deeply disappointing to see our great police department offer no support in this matter. Shame on you Mr. Irving. I do not see you protest liquor stores in our area.
FlyingTooLow October 25, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Why is 'big pharma' not being prosecuted? 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.
Thomas Purdy October 25, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Before daring to call marijuana medicine, we should take into account the following. The chemical analysis of raw marijuana shows it to contain 33 known carcinogens. It contains far greater quantities of cancer-causing ingredients than tobacco smoke. All major medical associations oppose the use of marijuana to treat any medical condition. It is not approved by the FDA. On the other hand, the FDA has approved some pharmaceuticals which have the same active ingredient as marijuana (THC), minus all those carcinogens. Marinol has been available in local pharmacies across the nation since 1999. For any patient who really can't swallow a small Marinol capsule, there is an oral spray Sativex in its final stages of clinical trial. Any seriously ill patient can enroll in these clinical trials and be taking Sativex immediately. Truthfully, Sativex is easier for a patient to take than smoking a joint or eating an edible preparation containing raw marijuana. Let's trust the best advice of the medical community and vote NO on Question 3.
FlyingTooLow October 25, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I was in Federal Prison with Brother Love and several of his followers from the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church in the 1980's. We had all been convicted of marijuana offenses...separate cases. The head of Brother Love's defense team was former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark. Their defense was based on religious freedom. While in prison together, I read hundreds of pages of the transcript from his trial. Many are available on the web today. The panel of 'expert witnesses,' presented by his defense team, included the foremost authorities in medicine of that era. The overwhelming amount of evidence documenting the medicinal benefits of marijuana was staggering. And, that was in the early 1980's. Now, fully 30 years later, the same lame arguments are still being paraded. How pathetic. I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for that marijuana offense. While I was there, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 20 months. After 3 years, I pointed this out to the parole board. Their response: “You must understand, yours was a very serious offense.” How do you respond to that mentality? I laughed about the parole panel's comment for 2 more years (as I still sat in prison), then wrote my book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank No, it is not a treatise on disproportionate sentences, but a look at what the use of marijuana is really about. People pursuing happiness in their own way. Harming no one...nor their property.
FlyingTooLow October 25, 2012 at 04:14 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, 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.
PhilDeBowl October 25, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Thomas Purdy,what a load of crap,Name ONE cancer causing chemical found in cannabis. Right,let's just trust the FDA,they are there to safeguard us,right,how many people have died from prescription drugs? How many from cannabis? Go sell crazy somewhere else.
FlyingTooLow October 25, 2012 at 04:30 PM
@PhilDeBowl... Bravo!!!! Well said!
PhilDeBowl October 25, 2012 at 07:33 PM
FTL,I enjoyed reading your book,thanks.
FlyingTooLow October 25, 2012 at 08:52 PM
@PhilDeBowl... A million thanks for your comment...You just made my day.
JRZ October 25, 2012 at 08:55 PM
The marijuana can be vaporized or ingested, instead of smoked. This eliminates the carcinogen risk. Marinol is also a poor substitute. http://norml.org/component/zoo/category/marinol-vs-natural-cannabis
wm97 October 28, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Just FYI, the US Federal Govt. distributes medical marijuana to a number of patients every month. Your taxes help pay for it.
wm97 October 28, 2012 at 05:20 AM
"Before daring to call marijuana medicine, we should take into account the following." The US Govt. distributes marijuana as medicine to a number of patients each month. The reason they do this is because some of those patients went to court and proved to a legal certainty that marijuana is the only medicine suitable for their needs. In 1988, the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the DEA completed the most comprehensive study of the issue ever done by the DEA. He concluded that marijuana certainly met the legal standards for a medicine. In addition, he stated that it was probably the safest therapeutic substance known to man, and that the DEA denying its use as medicine was arbitrary, capricious, and with no basis in science. In 1999, the US Institute of Medicine completed a study commissioned by the US Drug Czar to settle the issue. They concluded that there was no good alternative to marijuana for some patients. Just FYI, the legal definition of "medicine" does not require approval by the FDA or any medical organization. All it requires is that it be recognized as a medicine by a respectable minority of doctors. The DEA's own Chief Administrative Law Judge said it met that standard more than twenty years ago already. The Federal Govt.'s own medical marijuana patients report that the pharmaceuticals simply do not work as well as the natural product. Not that it would make any sense to punish people for using the plant instead of the pill, anyway.
wm97 October 28, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Hey Thomas Purdy, a couple of quick questions for you: 1) Do you have any clue why marijuana was outlawed in the first place? Did the ideas make any sense at all? See http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm 2) Can you name any significant study of the drug laws in the last 100 years that agrees with you? See Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer

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