Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana In Massachusetts

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Photo: The Boston Phoenix
More than 80 people, mostly medical marijuana supporters, packed the conference room for the hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Health.

‚ÄčMassachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana to ease symptoms of chronic and debilitating illnesses, and regulate the centers that distribute the herb.

“Marijuana has proven its medical efficacy,” Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline) testified before the Legislature’s public health committee on Tuesday, reports the Associated Press. “This bill is about more than just common sense, it’s about compassion.”
Smizik is one of 27 House co-sponsors of H 625, which would legalize and regulate the use of cannabis for patients with specific illnesses.

“As the law stands these patients are faced with the daunting decision between foregoing much-needed relief and committing a criminal act,” Smizik said in a hearing room packed with more than 80 supporters of the bill.
If the legislation is passed, patients suffering from illnesses including HIV, AIDs, cancer, glaucoma and other degenerative diseases could, with their doctor’s recommendation, buy marijuana, reports Robert Rizzuto at MassLive.com.
The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst), who has said that the Massachusetts medical marijuana bill “isn’t set up” to be like the one in California, and will include a “tightly-controlled system.”
“At the heart of the issue is the fundamental belief that patients should have access to this option through their doctor and they shouldn’t have to live their live in fear of the authorities kicking in their door and arresting them,” said Eric Wunderlich, a board member of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance.
“There are different beliefs between legalizing it medically and completely, but it is all about not living in fear,” chronic pain sufferer Wunderlich said.
“This is an issue of life and death for a lot of people,” Wunderlich said, reports Chris Faraone at The Boston Phoenix. “This is not about getting high. This is about social justice.”

Medical Marijuana Bill S01161


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