Marijuana Patients To Legislators: Please Give Safe Access A Vote


Graphic: Cannabis Culture

​A group of medical marijuana patients Thursday held a press conference in Boston to ask lawmakers to support legalizing medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health is currently considering a bill that would make Massachusetts the 15th state in the U.S. to give seriously ill patients safe and legal access to medical cannabis.
Patients called for the bill to receive a committee vote before a deadline on March 18, after which passage out of committee becomes much more difficult.
“Watching my 29-year-old son struggle with the side effects of brutal chemotherapy treatments was heart wrenching,” said Lorraine Kerz of Greenfield, Mass., who said her son benefited from medical marijuana.

“He threw up non-stop for days on end, had no appetite, was quickly losing weight, and was beginning to despair,” Kerz said. “Medical marijuana relieved the nausea, helped him regain his appetite, and allowed him to reduce his intake of painkillers.”
“To think that my son could have gone to jail for using a drug that helped him maintain hope and quality of life is not just,” Kerz said. “It is unreasonable and cruel.”
“Just a few years ago, I was in the hospital because of severe internal bleeding that is the result of ulcerative colitis,” said Matt Kauffman, of Revere, Mass. “The condition is really painful, but the medications I was given just tore up my insides and made the bleeding worse. My doctors had no idea how to help me, and I wasn’t sure I had long to live.”
“Now, thanks to medical marijuana, the bleeding has completely stopped,” Kauffman said. “I’m off all the painkillers and steroids, and I’m leading a normal life.”
“I hope legislators support the medical marijuana bill at the State House, because when I don’t have safe access to my medicine, my symptoms immediately return,” Kauffman said.
Last September, Suffolk University released the results of a poll that showed 81 percent of Massachusetts residents support allowing “seriously ill patients to use, grow, and purchase marijuana for medical purposes if they have the approval of their physicians.”
The poll found incredibly strong support in every demographic, including support from 86 percent of senior citizens and 70 percent of Republicans.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley also expressed her support for the use of medical marijuana, “only with a prescription,” during an appearance on a radio show last June.
The Massachusetts Bar Association’s House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly last November to support House Bill 2160, a bipartisan medical marijuana bill introduced in the State House earlier last year.
“The MBA supports this legislation because it affirms the rights of patients to be treated with medical marijuana — a drug with proven efficacy — while including important regulations to deter improper use,” said former MBA president David White, who introduced the measure.

Graphic: MPAA

​Massachusetts residents who want to show lawmakers that their constituents care about medical marijuana patients may use the free and automated system to write legislators in support of HB 2160 provided by the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance.