Ballot Question 3 in Statistical Dead Heat; While Parents of Deceased Teen Say “21st Century” Pot Led to His Death

“We never imagined that smoking pot could take our son from us.” Lisa and Bill Brandon, Acton, Massachusetts, parents of Connor Brandon (19) who died July 2012. “We want you to vote NO on Question 3.  For Brandon, and for every young person like him.”

Boston – today held a press conference in Boston making the case that once voters become aware of the dangers of a proliferation of “medical marijuana” they choose to vote no.

Suffolk University/WHDH Poll points now shows that support for Question 3 is down nearly 20 points to just 54% with a 3.78% margin of error.  Question 3 gives any physician the ability to supply a “marijuana card” to virtually anyone, of any age, for any reason.  The card is good for life and there is no maximum amount a cardholder can purchase.

“Question 3 is not about giving the gravely ill the access to marijuana, all of us support compassionate care; but the system Question 3 creates goes way beyond what any responsible citizens wants for the Commonwealth,” said John Sofis Scheft, Esq. of The Bellotti Law Group who successfully challenged Question 3 before Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Attending the press conference were dozens of students from Boston’s Ostiguy Recovery High School—one of five recovery high schools in Massachusetts serving students with a history of substance abuse, predominantly marijuana.

Speaking about their personal experience were Lisa and Bill Brandon of Acton, MA, parents of Connor Brandon, who died of a drug and alcohol overdose at a concert at the Comcast Center last summer that received media attention for the dozens of youth who were hospitalized for substance overdose.

Connor was an honors student and athlete at Acton-Boxborough High School who just completed his first year at the University of California, San Diego—where the family noted that medical marijuana dispensaries were everywhere.  They went into one and were given free pot samples and pot brownies.

“What we learned is that 21st century pot is 8 to 10 times as potent as the marijuana we knew when we were young and  it’s highly addictive,” said Lisa Brandon.  “In California, marijuana use is a pervasive culture and Connor was caught up in it, smoking pot every day.”

Tragically, Connor was supposed to have a phone interview with McLean Hospital to begin a drug treatment program on the Thursday he died last summer because he chose to go to a concert instead.  Connor died of a cardiac arrest that night from an overdose of marijuana, drugs and alcohol.

“We know that relaxed marijuana laws, including medical marijuana laws, increase the supply and availability of marijuana to young people—and it is a new marijuana that is more potent, dangerous and addictive than we ever imagined,” said Bill Brandon.

“We never imagined that smoking pot could take our son from us.  We don’t want more kids to die.  What was dangerous for my son was not only the easy access to pot, but the message that it was OK to use it.  We deeply believe that Question 3 is ill-conceived, will increase the supply and risk for kids in our state, and that it is a reckless law for Massachusetts,” the Brandon’s stated.  “We want you to vote NO on Question 3.  For Brandon, and for every young man like him.”

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