In Massachusetts the Joint Committee on Public Health will hold a public hearing on a bill that mirrors the proposed ballot question on medical marijuana. A copy of the ballot question is here. If the proposed law for the medical use of marijuana appears on the Nov. 6 ballot and is approved by a majority of voters, on Jan. 1 Massachusetts would join 16 other states with a law permitting the use of the plant for medical purposes. The hearing, limited to only the medical marijuana bill, is mandated as a step in the process for the proposed medical marijuana law to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot.
Once proponents turned in 80,710 signatures of voters in December, the state Legislature was required to consider the proposed question as a bill. Under the state constitution, legislators have until May 2 to pass the bill. If the bill doesn’t pass or legislators fail to act, supporters would need to collect an additional 11,485 voter signatures to qualify for placement of the question on the November ballot . Things could be easy, but they are not.
The proposed law would allow a physician to prescribe a 60-day supply of marijuana to a patient with a “debilitating medical condition,” such as cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease or a broad category that includes “other conditions.” The law would permit up to 35 nonprofit dispensaries or treatment centers around the state, including at least one in each county.
[image: google images Massachusetts]