With a current vote total of 63% in favor and 37% opposed (with 40% of the vote tallied), NORML projects that Massachuetts is set to become the eighteenth state to allow for the physician supervised use of marijuana. Massachusetts now joins its fellow Northeastern states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maine in recognizing and allowing for the medical use of cannabis.
When implemented, this law would eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients. To qualify, a patient must have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or multiple sclerosis.
It will also allow patients to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana for their personal medical use, the amount of which will be determined by the Department of Public Health. A patient could designate a personal caregiver, at least 21 years old, who could assist with the patient’s medical use of marijuana but would be prohibited from consuming that marijuana. Patients and caregivers would have to register with DPH by submitting the physician’s certification. It will also allow for the approval of up to 35 non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers to grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers.
NORML will have more information as this issue progresses. Stay tuned to norml.org for the latest and keep watching our live election coverage to see if our reform measures pass in other states.