It’s official: Massachusetts is becoming the 18th medical marijuana state in the U.S.
Massachusetts voters Tuesday night approved a new law legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes by people with cancer, hepatitis C, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, glaucoma, HIV, AIDs, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other serious conditions.
Voters didn’t just approve the initiative. They, well, MASSively approved it by 63 percent to 37 percent, unequivocal landslide numbers equalling those of medical marijuana’s previous biggest victory — that one in Michigan.
The full text of the initiative, Question 3, is available here [PDF].
Advocates in the Legislature have attempted to pass medical marijuana legislation in Massachusetts for many years, but encountered stiff opposition along the way.
The law will take effect on January 1, 2013.
Within 120 days of the law’s effective date, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is required to issue regulations for the implementation of sections of the law dealing with registration of dispensaries (referred to as “nonprofit medical marijuana treatment centers”); registration of treatment center employees; hardship cultivation registrations for patients whose financial hardship, physical incapacity, or remote location is verified; and the issuance of registration cards for qualifying patients and caregivers.
By Steve Elliott