and EMAIL and tell him to SUPPORT S.2097
Senator Richard Ross, a Republican, is a rabid prohibitionist who has been appointed to the reconciliation committee to replace Senator deMacedo who resigned for family obligations.
We are asking everyone to call Senator Ross and all reps and senators to support s.2097 and oppose H3776.

Dear Mr. Ross,

I am a constituent of yours, who actually voted for you (you are one of two Republicans I have EVER voted for) and unless you support your fellow Senators in the reconciliation of S,2097 and H.3776, it will not only be the LAST time I vote for you, but I will actively work to make certain it is YOUR last time being elected to the Senate.

The voters in Franklin voted overwhelmingly to support Question 4, now Chapter 334. I was in the Franklin Senior Center in January 2016, when you returned from your trip to Colorado and were trying to scare people into voting against Question 4. Your misconceptions were annoying then, but now they are dangerous.

Had you been in the hearings of the Joint Committee on Marijuana, you would have learned quite a few things about Cannabis, and the people in Massachusetts who consume it for medical and recreational reasons. You would have learned that in states that have legalized, no increase in youth use has occurred. You would have learned that in Colorado there were no deluge of ER visits by children and that the labeling and packaging regulations written into both bills are exactly what Colorado and other states have done. You would have noticed that the Secretary of Health in Colorado was quoted In the news saying that he wished if you were going to visit Colorado, that you would not then leave telling lies about what you found there. They LOVE their law and have no plans to try to repeal it. They are rolling in cash receipts and their only regret was the tax was TOO HIGH, and the black market did not go away because of it. They cannot just lower it there because it is enshrined in their Constitution, not just a law.

You would know that in the states that have readily available legal marijuana, opioid deaths and overdoses have DROPPED 25% (this is a fact, had you read the packet Mass Cann delivered to your office in March, you would KNOW THIS). According to Medicare and the NIH, prescriptions for opioid drugs plummeted in states with legal cannabis, as did all prescriptions issued to senior citizens (who benefit greatly from it’s medical uses).

You would have learned about the Endocannabinoid system (have your aid google it) and how the phytocannabinoids in Marijuana supplement the natural ones made by your body and are essential to life itself, controlling everything from autoimmune function to cellular systems that clear toxins from your body and that extensive studies done in Israel (who have a robust medical program) show it is effective for epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and that it has not only been patented by the US government as a nueroprotectant- as in Alzheimer’s preventative, but also by GW Pharmaceuticals (in the US, Jan 2017) as a cure for Cancer (glioma and colon cancer).

You would have heard from the hundreds of people who testified about how their lives had been destroyed by Prohibition, how the minority communities were arrested at rates high above whites (even after decriminalization, Bristol county had the highest minority arrest rates in the entire US).

And you would know WHY the Senate bill is written the way it is. And you would gladly vote FOR IT. But you were not paying attention since you were not on the Committee and you believed you already had all the answers. WELL YOU DON”T. Now it is time to admit that you might need a little more information, and since you do not have time to learn, you just may have to trust the judgement of your colleagues. And your constituents.

The Gaming Commission Law that IS the basis for the House Bill is a monstrous law that creates a whole new law enforcement agency when our own Attorney General has said this is not needed. It hikes the tax rate to 28%, when the DOR has testified that the tax should NOT be raised until after the first full year of sales because Maine’s tax is 10% and it will cost us cross-border sales and tourism dollars and at 12% it is projected to cover ALL the costs of the law and net somewhere around $64-124 million in the first six months of sales alone.

The Senate law has all the amendments contained in the house law that protect our farmers and allow them to participate in the new market, both for Hemp and as small Cooperative Farms. MDAR has testified that they are ready to help the CCC oversee this and Senators and Representatives from the areas with farms are behind these amendments. This program is vital to our farmers, who have testified that hemp can be the difference between a farm being passed on to the next generation and the farmer being forced off his land by a drought. It means being able to send his or her kids to college, and being able to provide good jobs for the 30,000 farm workers in this state.

So, as you told the State House News, you may indeed ‘have very different views than the members of the Joint Committee’, however as one of the people you are supposed to be representing, I am telling you to vote to support the Senate Bill S.2097. And I am warning you that your voters are watching. And we have a LONG memory, so don’t think we will forget what you do this week. I was in every single hearing at the State House. I have met with almost every member of the Committee on both sides. I am telling you, you are wrong to oppose the Senate Bill. Now you know why. Vote for it. Please.

Linda Noel
Franklin, MA 02038