Medical marijuana state number 17 might coming very soon; Massachusetts lawmakers held a hearing tonight about implementing a medical marijuana bill. “Marijuana has proven its medical efficacy,” said Rep. Frank Smizik, who is co-sponsoring the bill that would legalize medical marijuana and regulate patients and providers. “This bill is about more than just commonsense; it’s about compassion. As the law stands, these patients are faced with the daunting decision between foregoing much needed relief and committing a criminal act,” he added.
The bill would allow patients suffering from illnesses like cancer, HIV, glaucoma, epilepsy and various degenerative diseases would be able to obtain medical marijuana. Among the many supporters at the hearing, a number of potential patients testified about how marijuana helps them deal with their illnesses:
“My abdomen, which might be hard as a rock from a spasm will relax,” said John Kelly, who is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury and uses marijuana for chronic pain and muscle spasms. Marcy Duda testified that “even the dudes at Yale University School of Medicine and Pathology said that… the pot I was smoking” prevented her from having a brain aneurism.
The Department of Public Health would require patients to register after getting a doctor’s recommendation and would also regulate 19 dispensaries that would be established across the state. The bill would also allow those who qualify to grow up to 24 plants and posses four ounces of usable marijuana.
Although marijuana is already decriminalized in the state (less than an ounce can result in a $100 fine) there is never a shortage of uninformed people at such hearings. “I think the liberalization of the use of marijuana may send a strong message especially to young people who experiment with it,” said Dr. Leonard Morse, who opposes the bill. “It is a gateway drug and it is addictive,” added the clueless physician.
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