Mass. voters pass 2 of the 3 ballot Q's

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November 7, 2012, 8:30 am
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(NECN/AP) - Massachusetts voters approved two of the three ballot questions on Election Day.

Question 1 - The Right to Repair


Massachusetts voters have approved a ballot question requiring automakers to provide car owners and independent repair shops with access to their diagnostic systems.
 
Approval of the measure Tuesday came on the same day a compromise right-to-repair law took effect in the state.
 
The compromise was passed by the Legislature in July but came too late for the question to be removed from the ballot.
 
The ballot question would supersede the compromise law. Both require all new cars sold in the state include onboard diagnostic and repair information systems. The ballot question calls for the requirement by 2015, while the law gives the industry until 2018.
 
It's unclear whether legislators will revisit the issue in the next session.

Question 2 - Death with Dignity Act

Supporters of a ballot question legalizing physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill in Massachusetts have conceded defeat, even though the vote is too close to call.
 
A spokesman for the Death With Dignity Act campaign said in a statement early Wednesday that "regrettably, we fell short."
 
With 93 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, opponents of the measure were ahead by about 38,000 votes.
 
If passed, Massachusetts would become the third state to allow terminally ill patients to get help from their doctors to end their lives with lethal doses of medication.
 
Religious, medical and disability rights groups fought the measure, saying it's open to manipulation and relies on diagnoses that could be wrong.
 
A call to an opposition group, The Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Question 3 - Medicinal use of marijuana


Massachusetts residents have approved a new law legalizing medical marijuana.
 
The law eliminates state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by people with cancer, hepatitis C, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions.
 
Supporters say marijuana eases the suffering of people with debilitating diseases.
 
Opponents say the law is ripe for abuse and fraud. They fear there's no effective way to regulate marijuana dispensaries to make sure only sick patients get the drug. And they say they saw Tuesday's ballot question as the next step toward full legalization of marijuana.
 
In 2008, Massachusetts decriminalized possession of marijuana in amounts under 1 ounce.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Tags: politics, medical marijuana, ballot, ballot questions, Election 2012, Right to Repair, Massachusetts ballot, end of life
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