State says ‘no’ to assisted suicide, ‘yes’ to medical marijuana and repair bill

b02715cd26c7a14909e66deb02bacbc3
iSTOCKPHOTO

Massachusetts voters yesterday gave the green light for ill people to ease their pain, but rejected a measure that would have let them end it altogether.

The state’s medical marijuana initiative passed by 63 percent, not a shock to supporters who were confident yesterday the state would adopt the law.

“It’s going to win because people value compassion more than they value fear, especially unreasonable fear,” said Bill Downing, treasurer of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, which endorsed the initiative.

“For many decades the government has created an atmosphere of reefer madness. As people become aware that cannabis is the safest therapeutic substance known to man, they will start to lose their fear.”

Medical marijuana has been used to treat patients suffering from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS and glaucoma. All New England states but New Hampshire now have legalized it in some form.

The Death with Dignity measure, however, failed, with 51 percent of voters rejecting it.

This law would have allowed terminally ill patients to get prescriptions for lethal medications.
The patients must have been given six months or less to live, and must be considered mentally capable to make the life-ending decision.

Just hours before polls closed, one of the initiative’s opponents said he was “cautiously optimistic” it would fail.

“We think that a lot of people have had time to carefully consider this bill, and have seen that it is badly written and flawed, and would be dangerous for the state,” said John Kelly, director of Second Thoughts, a group of Massachusetts residents with disabilities that oppose assisted suicide.

Opponents have said that if approved, the law would be a recipe for elder abuse, and while supporters of the measure argue it would give control to terminally ill patients, Kelly said the law could pressure ill people into ending their own lives.

“When people feel a burden because they’re spending money on their health care bills, this will set up a situation where people feel they need to die,” he said.

Oregon enacted a similar law in 1997, and Washington in 2009.

The Right to Repair bill was also approved last night 85 percent, requiring auto makers to give owners access to the same diagnostic and repair information that dealers and repair facilities have.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."