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Governor Says He Will 'Probably' Vote Against Marijuana Ballot Question

The governor, during a live chat on Hamilton-Wenham Patch, expressed skepticism about the legalization of medical marijuana, though he sympathized with patients in pain.

Governor Deval Patrick said he would likely vote no on Question Three this fall.

During a Thursday live chat on Hamilton-Wenham Patch, a reader asked Patrick how he would vote on the ballot question and whether the governor was for or against the legalization of cannabis. 

"I am not too energized on this issue, personally. California's experience has been mixed. I will probably vote against it. I respect the opposing view, though, especially those whose concern is for people in constant pain," wrote the governor in response. 

Proponents say medical marijuana will help ease the pain and suffering of cancer patients and other eligible residents. Opponents, meanwhile, say the law is a back door to full legalization, and that medical marijuana can be dangerous.

Next week, the League of Women's Voters of Hamilton-Wenham is sponsoring a forum in Hamilton where both sides of the issue will appear.

A representative from the “Committee for Compassionate Medicine” will appear in favor of the question and speaking against it will be Dr. Jay Broadhurst from “Vote No on Question 3.” The forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Buker Elementary School.

If approved, Question Three would "eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients." Qualified patients would be allowed to hold a 60-day supply of marijuana for personal use.

California has allowed medical marijuana use for years, though it remains a contentious issue in the state. The state law has not prevented federal authorities from raiding medical marijuana clinics and shops, and impounding the product found there. 

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