Massachusetts Becomes 18th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana

With a current vote total of 63% in favor and 37% opposed (with 40% of the vote tallied), NORML projects that Massachuetts is set to become the eighteenth state to allow for the physician supervised use of marijuana. Massachusetts now joins its fellow Northeastern states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maine in recognizing and allowing for the medical use of cannabis.

When implemented, this law would eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients. To qualify, a patient must have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or multiple sclerosis.

It will also allow patients to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana for their personal medical use, the amount of which will be determined by the Department of Public Health. A patient could designate a personal caregiver, at least 21 years old, who could assist with the patient’s medical use of marijuana but would be prohibited from consuming that marijuana. Patients and caregivers would have to register with DPH by submitting the physician’s certification. It will also allow for the approval of up to 35 non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers to grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers.

NORML will have more information as this issue progresses. Stay tuned to norml.org for the latest and keep watching our live election coverage to see if our reform measures pass in other states.

31 thoughts

  1. This law, as written, is pretty restrictive for one of the most Liberal, Democratic states in the land. As written, it might limit access to people who are sick with highly debilitating and terminal diseases. I might not be able to get any for a list of painful conditions. So as for Massachusetts, I’m looking forward to some more developments.

  2. Oh Good!! Now maybe sick & suffering patients in this state will no longer be tyrranized,oppressed,& brutalized by a corrupt & out-dated system Way to Go Massachussetts!!!!

  3. i have spinal bifida with constent backpain due to a tethered spinal cord. will i be able to legally obtain medical marijuana, because ive been using it to suppress the pain for years now, and i just want to be able to purchase in a safe way where i dont feel like im doing something bad

  4. @ yankee2: from what i’ve read on the new law…In Massachusetts for use if you have the listed conditions OR a recommendation from an MD for other documented ailment. 🙂

  5. The law states:

    To qualify, a patient must have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or multiple sclerosis.

    It clarifies that it has to be a debilitating medical condition SUCH AS….that does not limit it to those diseases, thus ANY debilitating disease where marijuana could help, would be legal in the state of Massachusetts.

  6. Would I qualify for having Spinal Stenosis and Degenerative Disk Disease? Is this also considered debilitating? It really helps me deal with the cronic pain I suffer from.

  7. OK,Thank you Massachusetts, BUT are these the only diseases that you can have in order to get medical marijuana? WHAT ABOUT ARTHRITIS, HERNEATED DISCS IN THE BACK,or any number of orthopedic problems? YOU WANT DEBILITATING? THAT’S DEBILITATING, HARUMFF!

    [Paul Armentano responds: Qualifying conditions in Massachusetts are defined under the law as the following:

    http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/government/2011-petitions/11-11.pdf

    (C) “Debilitating medical condition” shall mean:
    Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician.]

  8. I have debilitating depression, suicidality, agoraphobia, anxiety and mania. I am prescribed Klonopin but use mj because it is more effective. Will NORML be publishing the names of open-minded physicians who will be willing to use their discretion?

  9. God bless the commonwealth!
    From Lynn mass via ridgecrest California!
    I might have to move back now and share what I’ve learned here in the Mojave desert with all my fellow massholes.

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