Bob Lobel knows where he stands on Question 4.
“I’m going to vote yes,” he says.
The beloved former sportscaster called us to say he supports the legalization of recreational marijuana, as long as the proper regulations are in place.
Lobel says he’s not trying to evangelize — “I’m not the pied piper of pot here,” he says — but he hopes Massachusetts voters will approach the ballot question with an open mind and consider the issue in a rational and logical way.
For Lobel, the issue is more personal than it is political, because he uses marijuana for medicinal purposes. It essentially saved him from getting addicted to opioids.
Lobel has faced a lot of health problems in recent years: hip fractures, two knee replacements, two rotator cuff operations, as well as other surgeries. “A lot of big-time major stuff,” he says. Over time he also realized that prescription painkillers were doing him more harm than good.
“There was a time when I was about to become addicted to Oxycontin,” he says. “I knew it.”
When medical marijuana became available, he finally found alternative that worked for him. .
“It’s helped a lot,” he says. “It hasn’t cured anything, but it’s helped a lot with the pain.”
Lobel has been frustrated by the “fear factor” that Question 4 opponents have been preaching to the public. Lobel strongly believes that marijuana is not a “gateway drug” that leads people to use other harmful substances. Lobel says for him, it’s more of an “exit drug.”
Of course, Lobel is aware of the stigma that’s attached to weed. Why are municipalities so quick to grant alcoholic beverage licenses, but so quick to turn down marijuana dispensaries? That’s a question that Lobel ponders, and that’s one of the reasons why Lobel says he’s voting “yes” on Question 4. To him, it’s “absolutely the right thing to do.”
“We have an opportunity to do something really good for the people of Massachusetts,” he says.” However, it’s not easy.” If Question 4 passes policymakers will need to figure out how to regulate it.
“It’s easy to say no,” he said. “It’s not easy to say yes.”
“But I think it is time,” he said. “We’ve got to step up to the plate politically and figure out how to regulate it properly and make it happen.”