Massachusetts Questions 2 and 3 Deserve a YES Vote

Question 2: Death with Dignity

The ACLU of Massachusetts is proud to have supported Question 2 (Death with Dignity), which lost 49-51 percent, and would have allowed terminally ill adults to make their own, private choices about end of life options.

- An adult patient who is diagnosed with a terminal illness and determined by two doctors to have six months or less to live would have been eligible to use the Death with Dignity law.

- The patient would have had to voluntarily request his or her doctor write a prescription for life-ending medication.

- Two doctors would have had to confirm the patient is mentally capable of communicating health care decisions and confirm the patient is making a voluntary, informed choice.

- After the patient makes the request, there would have been required waiting periods before the writing of the prescription.

- For the terminally ill in the final stages of a fatal illness, Death with Dignity would have provided an invaluable choice of how and when to spend their final days.

Thank you to all of you who supported personal choice and control by voting YES on Question 2.

Question 3: The Humanitarian Use of Medical Marijuana

The ACLU is proud to have supported this measure to legalize the humanitarian use of medical marijuana. Thank you to everyone who voted yes!

This law will make patients safer and more secure, and will spare patients who are already seriously ill from having to deal with a black market to get a medication that helps them.

The law also gives doctors the right to speak openly with their patients about this valuable treatment option.

Important regulatory work for safety and security begins next. The new law does not go into effect until 1/2/13, and there is a 120-day period for making new regulations on how to implement the law. We are dedicated to making this the best and safest law in the country.

The medical marijuana law takes the best practices from the 17 other states that have passed similar laws since 1996, while fixing the unintended consequences that other laws have created. The proposed medical marijuana law will:

- Allow doctors and patients to discuss the option of marijuana as a medicine and doctors to write recommendations for medical marijuana to their bona-fide, long-term patients who would benefit from this medicine;

- Require the Commonwealth to regulate and register both patients and independent, non-profit Medical Treatment Centers where patients could obtain their medicine;

- Require local, non-profits that want to open a Medical Treatment Center to pay a registration fee, to cultivate medical marijuana locally in a secure, locked facility, and ensure that no more than five Medical Treatment Centers are sited in any one County and no more than 35 are sited across the state;

- Create a new felony for "Defrauding the Medical Marijuana System" that could lead to a 5-year prison sentence; and

- Help seriously ill patients

Thank you for voting YES on Question 3!

Please also learn more about voting rights in Massachusetts, and ACLU participation in the Voter Protection Coalition--including how you can report problems at the polls.

Learn more about your rights at the voting booth.