On the Ballot: Medical Marijuana and Assisted Suicide

This November’s election just got even more interesting, as this morning, the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office just announced three ballot initiatives for voters to contemplate at the polls. They run the gamut, from legalizing pot to sanctioning assisted suicide to … facilitating easier car repairs? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Legalizing Medical Marijuana initiative — Massachusetts is one of four states so far this year to take on this issue, and according to recent polls, 53 percent of the state’s residents support legalizing the drug (with 35 percent opposed). Should it pass, the National Organization for Positive Medicine has plans to establish a “marijuana compassion center” in Wakefield.
  • The “Death with Dignity” initiative — The assisted suicide bill would give those with less than six months to live access to a legal dose of drugs. Those wishing for access to the drugs would have to coherent and submit two written requests 15 days apart. Polls have found that a majority of state residents support the initiative, though those numbers vary. A Public Policy poll in March found 43 percent support, while another conducted by Western New England University two weeks later found support to be as high as 60 percent.
  • The “Right to Repair” initiative — The bill was proposed by the Right to Repair Coalition, a group of independent car repair shops who argue that car companies, citing intellectual property, have failed to release information that would allow independent agents to fix computers and other high-tech equipment that are now featured in most vehicles. The group says that car owners have become increasingly reliant on dealership services for their repairs. This bill would allow the car companies to maintain their intellectual property while allowing outside repair shops to have access to the service information for the high tech parts.