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Walpole Police Oppose Question 3, Medical Marijuana

Walpole Deputy Police Chief John Carmichael thinks that the passing of Question 3 - which allows for medical marijuana - would be 'very bad for the state.'

Question 3 on today's ballot asks Massachusetts residents to legalize the use of medical marijuana.

If passed, Walpole Deputy Police Chief John Carmichael believes that it could be detrimental to the state in many ways.

"It’s definitely going to affect the quality of life," he said. "The reason why is because we’re allowing up to 35 dispensaries in the state of Massachusetts; at least one in every county and up to five in each county. So we’re allowing these dispensaries to grow and cultivate and sell marijuana in unlimited quantities. There’s no limit.”

Carmichael said that the proposed law, as is, is written very loosely and believes it will allow for rampant abuse by those who smoke marijuana recreationally.

"This law is saying that in order to qualify to get your card to get medical marijuana you have to suffer from a serious medical condition, the most commons ones are cancer and glaucoma, AIDS, those type of issues. But it also included other conditions as determined in writing by a qualified patient’s physician.

“In California, most of the people that use medical marijuana are between 21-years-old and 40-years-old. The vast majority of them don’t suffer from cancer or AIDS or glaucoma or any serious medical condition. Most of them suffer from issues such as back pain and migraines, things that you can’t really debate with a patient."

Another loophole, he said, is that the law allows for a card holder to carry and purchase up to a 60-day supply of marijuana, however it does not specify how much pot that actually is.

“They can go to a dispensary and buy a 60-day supply of marijuana and then tomorrow they can do the same exact thing. So to think that this isn’t going to be used and be exploited for drug use doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

“The other aspect is the patients and the caregivers, if they can declare a hardship, they can also grow and cultivate and manufacture and produce marijuana for their own personal use. The law says that they’ll be able to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana, which is undetermined. It doesn’t mention what that is in the law,” he said. "It could be a pound, it could be 8 ounces, who knows?"

From a law enforcement perspective, Carmichael expects an uptick in related crimes if medical marijuana comes to Mass.

“There will be robberies. There will be people that are robbed in their homes because they have grow houses, because they don’t have the ability to get to the dispensaries themselves. There’s going to be burglaries, additional drug dealing, there’s going to be money laundering, there will be all of these other ancillary crimes that will take place because of this,” he said.

There is a drug called Marinol currently prescribed by doctors that has similar affects to marijuana and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, he said.

“Saying that smoked forms of marijuana are a medicine, that doesn’t make any sense.

"There is already a drug out there, Dronabinal, which the brand name is Marinol, which is a substance that contains THC and it’s covered under the Controlled Substances Act and it’s legal. That drug is a controlled substance that’s out there on the market that doctors issue every day and that basically treats the same ailments as what ever these smoked forms of marijuana would do."

Carmichael is worried that if the law passes it could lead to more kids developing troubling patterns at a younger age.

“Ever since decriminalization happened, we’ve already had the age of onset group go down and the number of kids in those age cohorts have gone up," he said. "The age of onset groups are going down which is a problem because the earlier they start doing that they develop drug use patterns and drug use behavior at that age."

The plant is still illegal on a federal level and he likens the proposed dispensaries to drug dealing.

“There’s a lot of misinformation and that type of thing and I think to me this is a very bad policy, it’s very bad for the state,” Carmichael said. “I’m going to vote ‘No.’”

Shawn Wright November 06, 2012 at 01:37 PM
This guy could not be more wrong. Marinol has one component of marijuana and does nothing to relieve pain. It is prescribed for AIDS wasteing syndrome to increase appetite and to chemotherapy patients for nausea. I would know, Im a medical student.( not a policeman)
SoccerMom1970 November 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Your gateway drugs are alcohol and cigarettes, prominently advertised in every possible way promoting use and acceptance. Your ignorance about marijuana and its effects on society cause your concern. Get educated on the facts of marijuana use and maybe read... " Marijuana is safer, so why are we driving people to drink" Alcohol is the drug that causes rapes, murders, driving deaths, overdose, cellular damage to the body, and the list goes on and on. One question sir, when was the last time you or one of your close officers had to fight someone under the influence of marijuana only? When was the last time you had to defend yourself against a drunk? You are correct, medical marijuana would cause issues. So just legalize it. Let everyone who uses it grown their own, then there is no reason for crime. If anyone can grow it, buy it, or use it whether for recreational use or medical then sir your crime related activities will cease. If you really want to win the war on drugs, then lets look to Portugal and their 10 year experiment on total legalization of all drugs. Usage has been cut by 50%. What has our war on marijuana given us the last 10 years?
John Casy November 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Deputy Police Chief John Carmichael is program by the goverment to believe that grass is bad and should be out law. Chief Carmichael and the goverment needs to learn it has LOST the war on marijuana. Millions of $$$ has been waisted on fighting pot. That money would of been better spespent helping the poor and needy. All the police can do is bother people who enjoy pot. What someone does in there own home is none of the police or courts business. The out dated laws against pot needs to be change and all us voters have the chance to change that law today !!
Paul Hurteau November 06, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I'll listen to real cops: http://www.leap.cc Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is an international organization of criminal justice professionals who bear personal witness to the wasteful futility and harms of our current drug policies. Our experience on the front lines of the “war on drugs” has led us to call for a repeal of prohibition and its replacement with a tight system of legalized regulation, which will effectively cripple the violent cartels and street dealers who control the current illegal market.
Chris O'Hara November 06, 2012 at 06:01 PM
the US Government owns patent on medical cannabis...if it has no medical value explian this Why the federal government continues to ignore the empirical evidence before them while simultaneously holding a patent on marijuana themselves is a question for the American people to investigate. Patent number 6630507 states unequivocally that "cannabinoids are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including auto-immune disorders, stroke, trauma, Parkinson's, Alzeheimer's and HIV dementia." The patent, awarded in 2003, is based on research done by the National Institute of Health, and is assigned to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. Am still waiting for an explaination from the prohibitionists

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