Now that permanent regulations governing the distribution and use of medical marijuana have been adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Health (DOH), all physicians and patients must carefully comply with these guidelines. After all, it’s still a violation of federal law to buy, use or sell marijuana. As part our our continuing series examining the new medical marijuana law as part of changes to Massachusetts drug laws, let’s examine how it affects medical practitioners.
When Massachusetts voters chose to legalize medical marijuana in November 2012, few of them realized how many challenging issues still had to be resolved, including obtaining legal access to the medicine. Under the ballot initiative, and to comply with Massachusetts drug laws, strict procedures to operate nonprofit dispensaries are still being drafted by the state.
Now that the state of Massachusetts has finalized its regulations governing the sale of medical marijuana, it’s important to understand the definitions If you are interested in the use of medical pot, or the legal infrastructure around it’s availability, it requires a bit of reading. The good news is that the state seems to have done a reasonably thorough job of mapping out the path to medical marijuana in Massachusetts.
Doctors are just now realizing that the public is starting to evaluate them based on their willingness to help patients obtain medical marijuana. In fact, many Massachusetts physicians are concerned that they’ll jeopardize their professional status if they make the…
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s draft regulations for handling the sale of medical marijuana are now posted on its website. Details addressed include specific medical condition eligibility, which medical professionals can prescribe, defining a legal 60 day medical supply, and when patients have the right to grow their own. Ongoing debate regarding these regulations will continue through April 20th. The Massachusetts Public Health Council still hopes to pass a final draft of these regulations on May 8, 2013. If that occurs, these legal guidelines will take effect on May 24, 2013.
Voters passed legislation for medical marijuana in Massachusetts several months ago, but the Commonwealth is taking a while to get their ducks in a row when it comes to regulating the new industry. The Department of Public Health initially said it would be ready with regulations by May 1. Now they have backed off that promise, saying instead they will try to aim for the date, or as close to it as possible.
Many Massachusetts cities are towns are hoping to slow down or stop the medical marijuana ballot initiative passed by Massachusetts voters in November of 2012. The state’s voters legalized, by a wide margin, the dispensing of medical marijuana to ease the pain of those with serious medical conditions like ALS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. A physician can prescribe marijuana for medical use, and a patient receives a registration card allowing them a 60 day supply. From the start, there is no ‘carte blanche,’ no unlimited access.
Massachusetts has officially become the 18th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes with the passage of Question 3. While some are still concerned this could lead our state into a mess of pot-crazed teens and sick people, others recognize it is more about giving people access to a harmless and effective medicine, a plant that should not be banned in the first place.