EDITORIAL: Ballot Questions: Charter Schools, Marijuana, Animals, Slot Parlors


There are four ballot questions Massachusetts voters will be asked to decide on Election Day. Here are our recommendations.


Voters are asked in question #1 whether or not to expand the amount of slot gambling parlors in Massachusetts from one to two. We believe in your freedom to do what you want with your own money and that means gambling it all away if you so choose. An additional slot parlor in Massachusetts may have negative consequences for some, but we believe that decision is up to you, not the government.

A YES VOTE would permit the state Gaming Commission to license one additional slot-machine gaming establishment at a location that meets certain conditions specified in the law.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws regarding gaming.


Charter schools are a private, public partnership allowing private schools to receive public funding but are not restricted by many of the overburdening regulations placed on public schools, which many argue dumbs down public school standards.

Approvals under this law could expand statewide charter school enrollment by up to 1% of the total statewide public school enrollment each year. New charters and enrollment expansions approved under this law would be exempt from existing limits on the number of charter schools, the number of students enrolled in them, and the amount of local school districts’ spending allocated to them.

We have seen the devastating failure of our public school industrial complex over the last 40 years. Children continue to graduate not being able to speak, read or write the English language in record numbers. Kids who graduate from charter schools are better educated and much better prepared for college and the world of work. Opponents of question #2 are in a panic because more charter schools means less control by teachers’ unions to dumb down curriculum. Opponents have misled the voters to believe more charter schools will result in less money for public schools. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, under question #2 more money will be funneled into public schools.

A YES VOTE would allow for up to 12 approvals each year of either new charter schools or expanded enrollments in existing charter schools, but not to exceed 1% of the statewide public school enrollment and would not take money from existing, failing public schools.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to charter schools

This proposed law would prohibit any farm owner or operator from knowingly confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal, or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely. The proposed law would also prohibit any businesses from selling whole eggs intended for human consumption or any uncooked cut of veal or pork if the business owner or operator knows or should know that the hen, breeding pig, or veal calf that produced these products was confined in a manner prohibited by the proposed law. The proposed law would exempt sales of food products that combine veal or pork with other products, including soups, sandwiches, pizzas, hotdogs, or similar processed or prepared food items.

A YES VOTE would prohibit any confinement of pigs, calves, and hens that prevents them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to the keeping of farm animals.

Government Control of marijuana distribution. We oppose this measure, but not for moral reasons or the tired old argument that pot is a gateway drug. We oppose it because, once it’s legal, elected officials in the government will do to marijuana what they do to cigarettes; tax it to death, regulate for “health reasons” the amount of THC and other chemicals in it, dole out permits for distribution of pot to their friends and campaign contributors, (Can you say Jim Jajuga?) and spend all those tax dollars on wasteful government programs that do not work. Massachusetts has finally done something right. The current laws punish dealers with a felony, but do not saddle police with wasting time arresting users. The law should stay as it is.

A YES VOTE would allow persons 21 and older to possess, use, and transfer marijuana and products containing marijuana concentrate (including edible products) and to cultivate marijuana, all in limited amounts, and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commercial sale of marijuana and marijuana products.

If passed, the government would be regulating marijuana as they do cigarettes.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to marijuana.