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letters | ISSUES FOR THE VOTERS

Medical marijuana proposal is in pursuit of progress, not perfection

Your Oct. 30 editorial “Medical marijuana plan raises too many unanswered issues,” which recommends a no vote on Question 3, asks, “How can the state guarantee a safe supply of marijuana?” The state can’t. No entity can. However, politics is the pursuit of progress, not perfection.

State regulation of marijuana for medicinal purposes would give those suffering from treatments for cancer, AIDS, and other debilitating diseases a powerful tool to help manage their pain.

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It is extremely unlikely, as your editorial notes, that this tool will come from the federal government any time soon given what you term the “political stigma” associated with marijuana.

That is all the more reason to support state innovation in this area. Massachusetts has long been a national leader in public health, and advances in treatment, outreach, prevention, and education can all be traced to state and local initiatives.

The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is no exception.

Rebecca Haag

President and CEO

AIDS Action Committee

of Massachusetts

Boston

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