PITTSFIELD, Mas. - Massachusetts has put the fate of legalizing medical marijuana in the hands of voters.
Question three on the ballot this November's election asks residents to vote 'yes' or 'no' on a law that would legalize it. Many of those in favor of the law believe deeply in its medical benefits.
Alice Boyd has already cast her vote through an absentee ballot
"I voted to legalize medical marijuana," said Boyd, of Sandisfield.
Boyd says both her parents suffer from severe glaucoma disease and they would be able to receive a medical marijuana card if the law passed.
"There's a great deal of pain, like shards of glass in your eyes, with glaucoma. I'm told that medical marijuana would be a treatment that would be acceptable and ease the pain," said Boyd.
Boyd also believes that Massachusetts could better regulate the process of growing and dispensing medical marijuana.
"It has proliferated perhaps beyond the initial intent. I do believe in Massachusetts, that we can control that and they have cracked down in California as well. It didn't get out of hand it just seemed like there are a lot of these pop up shops with marijuana being sold," said Boyd.
Others believe Massachusetts would face the same problems that California has.
In a statement the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance said, "Just this summer, siding with neighborhood residents and public health experts Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to shut down all their pot dispensaries in the city because they are magnets for crime, nuisance, and addiction."
The Massachusetts Medical Society also opposed the law. In a statement it said, "Until such time as marijuana is approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration and is no longer classified in Schedule I by the Drug Enforcement Administration the MMS cannot support legislation intended to involve physicians in certifying, authorizing, or otherwise directing persons in the area of medical marijuana outside of scientific clinical trials."
If passed the law would take effect on January 1st, 2013. The law would allow for 35 treatment centers that first year.