Latest News From the Campaign Trail
Please click on any post below to read more.
Kennedy Forum: Question 4 Will Lead To Promotion and Sale Of Edibles, Increased Drugged Driving, Proliferation Of Pot Shops in Communities Across Massachusetts
Safe and Healthy Massachusetts Campaign Urges Voters to Consider Question 4 As a Specific Proposal Written By and For The Marijuana Industry, Not Legalization "In Concept"
The promotion and sale of edibles, increased drugged driving, and a proliferation of pot shops in communities across the state are the inevitable results of passing Question 4, the Safe and Healthy Massachusetts campaign stressed in last night’s forum at the Kennedy Institute for the Senate.
Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) highlighted these issues throughout the debate. The No on 4 Campaign urged voters to consider Question 4 not as a marijuana legalization “concept,” but rather a specific proposal written by the marijuana industry for the marijuana industry. The Yes on 4 campaign has been almost entirely funded by an out-of-state pro-marijuana PAC and the industry-backed Marijuana Policy Project.
To view Senator Lewis’ opening statement outlining the issues, please click here.
Among the specific issues that will result from passing the marijuana industry’s proposal include:
- The creation of the dangerous edibles market, which will allow the advertising and sale of the highly potent cookies, candies, and sodas. Reports indicate that edibles account for as much as 50% of the marijuana sales in Colorado. Question 4 sets no limits on the potency of these products.
- An inevitable increase in drugged driving fatalities. In Washington State, they saw a doubling of the number of marijuana-impaired fatalities in the first year after legalization alone.
- The authorization of people to grow up to 12 marijuana plants worth tens of thousands of dollars at their homes, even over the objection of neighbors. Neighbors and communities have no ability to restrict these home grows, even if the homes are close to schools.
- There are no limits set on the number of pot shops in Massachusetts. In Colorado, there are already more pot shops than McDonalds and Starbucks combined.
97% of Contributions This Period Came From An Out-Of-State PAC and National Marijuana Industry; Marijuana Policy Project Has Contributed $188,000 In In-Kind Contributions Alone To Fund Legal And Staff Time In 2016
BOSTON – The Yes on 4 campaign remains almost entirely bought and paid for by the national marijuana industry and out-of-state PACs, according to campaign finance reports filed yesterday.
Of the $140,800 in contributions (including in-kind contributions) that came in over the past two weeks, $136,000 (or 96%) of it came from a Washington PAC funded by out-of-state billionaires, marijuana corporate investors, and the Marijuana Policy Project which is funded by marijuana industry executives. Those executives run businesses that include the manufacturing of dangerous edibles products and stand to make millions if Question 4 passes in Massachusetts.
The Marijuana Policy Project, out of Washington DC, has contributed $188,323 in in-kind contributions alone to fund much of the campaign’s legal work and staff time throughout the campaign. The Marijuana Policy Project is the industry backed organization to promote commercial marijuana throughout the country. Its funders include the CEOs of companies that promote and sell dangerous edibles and other products, including:
- CEO of Dixie Elixirs (a manufacturer of edibles like chocolate covered pretzels and wild berry lemonade)
- CEO of Med-West (a manufacturer of marijuana edibles)
- CEO of ArcView Group (a marijuana investment firm)
Statement from Safe and Healthy Massachusetts Campaign Manager Nick Bayer
“The people of Massachusetts are being asked to give a blank check to the Marijuana industry - that’s because the proposed law was written by the industry, and now we know the campaign is being paid for by the industry. They have written a law that allows unchecked edible products and takes control away from homeowners and communities. Voters should reject Question 4 because it will benefit Industry and not the families of Massachusetts.”
The Safe and Healthy Massachusetts campaign is an unprecedented coalition of Massachusetts doctors, nurses, health care, child protection, and community leaders opposing Question 4. Among those opposing Question 4 includes: Massachusetts Hospital Association, Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Municipal Association, Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Retailers Association of Massachusetts, Association of School Superintendents, Construction Industries of Massachusetts, Action for Boston Community Development, Association for Behavioral Healthcare, National Alliance on Mental Illness (Massachusetts Chapter), Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, Massachusetts Sheriffs Association and all Massachusetts District Attorneys.
Question 4 is also opposed by elected leaders such as Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker Robert DeLeo, Attorney General Maura Healey, Sheriff Steve Thompkins, and 120 state senators and representatives from across the Commonwealth.
BOSTON, MA – Highlighting concerns for public safety, law enforcement, and public health, Congressman Bill Keating, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch, and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas today voiced opposition to Ballot Question 4 that would legalize commercial marijuana in the state.
“I have been involved in the recovery community for a long time; I helped to establish an adolescent drug rehab facility, the Cushing House, in South Boston. I've spoken with hundreds of men and women on the road to recovery and I have not met a young addict yet that didn’t start with marijuana. I am opposed to Question Four because I do not think flooding the streets with another drug is good for our young people or good for society. Legalizing commercial marijuana is a move in the wrong direction, we will live to regret it,” said Congressman Lynch (D – 8th District).
"The legalization of marijuana is a contentious issue, and there are valid points on both sides. While I firmly support decriminalization for minor possession and the use of marijuana for medical purposes, I have serious concerns with going so far as full legalization. Many unanswered questions remain about the financial costs, law enforcement implications and broader social impact, and my concerns echo those of the many medical, law enforcement and substance abuse experts in our region opposed to the measure," said Congresswoman Tsongas (D – 3rd District).
"For the past several years, the troubling consequences of patchwork marijuana legalization have played out across the country. Most critically, the research has remained clear -- short-term and long-term use of marijuana has serious health impacts for young people in particular. At a time when Massachusetts is facing a crippling addiction crisis, increasing access to yet another controlled substance undermines the families, individuals, communities, law enforcement officials and health care workers on the front lines of this epidemic every single day," said Congressman Kennedy (D – 4th District).
“Given that there has been a 62% increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths since the 2013 legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, I have some serious concerns with legalization in Massachusetts. Additionally, a growing number of studies indicate frequent use of marijuana at an early age can disrupt brain development. According to Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is yet to be any research produced on the potential effects of secondhand marijuana smoke on children. As such, I am a no on question 4,” said Congressman Keating (D – 9th District).
These members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation join an unprecedented, bipartisan group of doctors, nurses, health care professionals, child protection advocates, and community leaders opposing Question 4. Among those opposing Question 4 are: the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Municipal Association, Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Retailers Association of Massachusetts, Association of School Superintendents, Construction Industries of Massachusetts, Action for Boston Community Development, Association for Behavioral Healthcare, National Association of Mental Illness (Massachusetts Chapter), Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, Massachusetts Sheriffs Association, and all Massachusetts District Attorneys.
Question 4 is also opposed by elected leaders such as Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker Robert DeLeo, Attorney General Maura Healey, Sheriff Steve Tompkins, and 120 state senators and representatives from across the Commonwealth.