It’s official – with 63 percent of voters in favor and 37 percent against, the majority has approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana in Massachusetts.
Question 3 on law Proposed by Initiative Petition to Legalize Medical Marijuana
It looks like it was a rather simple question – do you approve of this particular law on medical marijuana? The law proposed by the petition was also known as Question 3 and its goal was to eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana, according to the information found on the website of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The law will allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for their patients with conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Crohn’s disease. The law will go into effect in 2013, January 1.
What can patients from Massachusetts expect from this law?
What’s interesting is that besides thirty five marijuana centers regulated by the state, patients will also be able to grow marijuana at their homes, in cases when they have limited access to centers such due to their physical inability. In essence, qualifying patients will have access to a 60-day supply of marijuana, while the exact amount an individual will be allowed to purchase still remains undetermined. Before the law is enacted the state’s Department of Public Health will make a decision regarding the allowed quantity of medical marijuana.
If you’re following the news on this subject then you already know the procedure. In cases when patients cannot medicate themselves, they can appoint a personal caregiver – someone who is at least 21 years old and can obtain the drug on their behalf and also assist them with the use of medical marijuana. However, the caregiver is not allowed to consume the drug. Both patients and caregivers have to be registered with the Department of health.
The people have spoken
After Washington and Colorado, this is another battle won by the people, not by politicians. One of the voters, Kelly Sielis, 21, who is a Boston University student and first-time voter said she watched her mother undergo a cancer treatment and believes that some patients might prefer medical marijuana as “a more natural alternative” to other medicine. “I think the illegalization of marijuana is outdated” she said.
Some of the opponents were pointing out that it is not a popularity contest and insist on further research which would determine whether marijuana is therapeutic or not, even though a ton of research that already proves it. Others fear that the approval of this law could increase the use of marijuana among teens that may perceive it as safe once it is labeled medical. To be honest, teens who like to consume marijuana will continue to do so regardless of the brand value it will have when its labeled medical. Those who are against it will not suddenly switch and start puffing away like crazy. However, what we believe this measure is really good for are the painkillers. Trading all of those pharmaceutical painkillers for cannabis sounds like a pretty good deal.
The Committee for Compassionate Medicine on the other hand has welcomed the law in the name of all the patients who have been waiting for legal access to medical marijuana.