GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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November 18, 2012

Letter: Will lawmakers heed voters' pot call?

To the editor:

The Election Day poll of the 142,652 voters in the 8th Essex House, 22nd Middlesex House, and the 1st Essex and Middlesex Senate District found that slightly more than 54 percent want Congress to repeal the federal prohibition of marijuana (Non-binding ballot Question 4). Only 32.5 percent opposed repeal, and 13 percent had no opinion or refused to answer by blanking the ballot. Slightly more than 60 percent of the same voters favored Question 3, approving the use of marijuana for medical reasons, while slightly less than 36 percent opposed it and only 4 percent blanked the ballot.

These numbers demonstrate that the voters of the 6th Congressional District — and by reasonable inference, all of Massachusetts, reject the prohibition that never should have been. They also suggest three questions. The first is will state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, State Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, who represents Gloucester, Rockport and Essex, the eight representatives with whom Tarr shares at least one precinct and state Reps. Marc Lombardo (R-22nd Middlesex), and Lori Ehrlich (D-8th Essex) sponsor the resolution and work to get it passed by both chambers of the General Court, as voters have asked them to do?

The second is will John Tierney, who squeaked by with a plurality of the vote, become a sponsor in the next session of Congress of legislation that will end the prohibition? I’ve already asked him yet again and await his reply. The third is will the General Court and the governor get out front on ending the prohibition here in Massachusetts by passing legislation establishing Constitutional cannabis control before the people do it for ourselves, as we did with Question 2 in 2008 and Question 3 this year?

STEVEN S. EPSTEIN

Georgetown

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