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Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative Makes Ballot

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #742)
Politics & Advocacy

Voters in Massachusetts will have the chance to decide in November whether to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana. A spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin said last Tuesday that proponents had successfully delivered the 11,000 additional signatures necessary and the measure had qualified for the ballot.

Earlier this year, proponents had gathered some 80,000 voter signatures so that if the legislature failed to act on pending medical marijuana bills -- and it did fail to act -- by May 1, they only needed the additional 11,000 to take the issue directly to the voters.

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, the initiative allows patients with specified medical conditions "and other conditions" to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana. Patients or their caregivers would have to obtain their medicine from one of up to 35 non-profit dispensaries or "medical marijuana treatment centers" and would not be able to grow their own unless they qualified under a hardship provision. Patients, caregivers, and dispensaries would be registered with the state. [Update: The official initiative campaign is now online as The Committee for Compassionate Medicine (CCM). Mass. Patients will continue as an advocacy group after Election Day.]

If the initiative wins at the polls in November, it will be the latest move in a trend that is seeing the Northeast become nearly as medical marijuana-friendly as the West. New England neighbors that already have medical marijuana laws include Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont, while in the Mid-Atlantic, New Jersey and Washington, DC, also have full-fledged medical marijuana laws and Maryland offers an affirmative defense.

Currently 17 states and DC have legalized medical marijuana.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Tooo_La (not verified)

we must come together but not just SPFLD but Mass in a whole as one, so please vote this coming November and also check out my

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 10:03pm Permalink
kickback (not verified)

Yea , you can have it , but you can`t grow your own . What a racket . Where does that " legal possession " money go ?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 1:09am Permalink
Paul Pot (not verified)



The more people who are exposed to honest marijuana smoking the better.

Marijuana will enlighten you and you don't even have to smoke it. 

All you have to do is let someone else smoke it and you'll see there was never any need to freak out. 

With progress like this it will be legal before you know it. 

25 states have decriminalized or legalized medical use.

There will potentially be 5 states with initiatives on the ballot in November, looking either for medical use or legalization and all of them may be in with a real chance. 

With more than half the states and half the people in serious disagreement with the fed the government is going to have to give ground on the issue. 

This is a really exciting year for marijuana reform. 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 4:49am Permalink
Anonymous75757575 (not verified)

I can't believe another state that is passing a law that won't allow you to grow your own medicine, that is complete and utter bullshit. But I have the hope that once these laws go into effect (in CT and MA) patients will be fed up with the prices and eventually be true patriots and break the laws that need to be broken and grow their own damn medicine!!!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 11:21am Permalink
borden (not verified)

Can you legally grow your own in Massachusetts now, patients or anyone? I don't know for sure, but presumably the committee wrote the initiative the way they did because they did research on how different provisions would affect its chances at the ballot, and determined that home growing this time would jeopardize its chances. All of our objectives will be closer to becoming reality when this passes, whereas if it failed in a place like Massachusetts that could be a real setback and would not help anyone. We're not going to get everything we want all at once, and we don't always get to decide what we can get in the meanwhile -- with an initiative it's the voters who decide.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 11:31am Permalink
Kim Hanna (not verified)

In reply to by borden (not verified)

If Mass can't handle growing they should have stayed out of Mass, since once the

initiative passes it won't/can't be changed to allow growing and sick people again will pay

prohibitionist street prices at their friendly local dispensary. Shame on them for filing this ballot BS.

I say vote no on this rubbish and try again. Better to lose this nonsense than pass a BAD law.

Once again these initiative people are out of touch with the needs of the sick and dying.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 7:14pm Permalink
Peter C (not verified)

In reply to by Kim Hanna (not verified)

Do you know how long and painstaking it is to craft an initiative to the point of it even getting seen by the House or Senate and hope it passes? All I keep seeing and hearing from douchebags like you is nothing but whining like children about "oh they wont let patients home grow. It's a travesty, oh boohoo". Have you stopped to think that maybe no one wants to grow their own and possibly get robbed or raided by the DEA. Have them tear up their home and be handcuffed in front of their family and neighborhood like they've been doing in California? Maybe if you had more than two brain cells instead of smoking them all away then you would know that most just don't want that drama in their life and settle for something rather than nothing. People like you are selfish and would rather have nothing instead of something for those that need it. Seems like you don't give a shit about the sick and dying.
Mon, 07/30/2012 - 2:21am Permalink
DrewDawg (not verified)

Thank you sooooo much to the people who did the hard work to get this done.  My heart swells with happiness that you are out there working so i can find legal pain relief.


Tue, 07/10/2012 - 3:08pm Permalink
Justin Auldphart (not verified)

In reply to by Jon Warner (not verified)

Jon..I am always amazed that states looking to legalize MMJ, do not copy the Maine formula lock, stock and seems to be working quite well here: patients are getting the medicine, jobs and taxes are generated and (knock wood) no Federal interference so far despite the occasional doomsday prophecies...

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 1:24pm Permalink
Brucifer (not verified)

That's total bullshit. You can possess it if it's in a bag but not if it's growing in a pot? Those "up to 35 non-profit dispensaries or medical marijuana treatment centers" will never be allowed to operate as the Feds will threaten the state officials who must authorize those centers. The program will stall and we'll be looking at another New Jersey!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 8:44pm Permalink
Peter C (not verified)

In reply to by Brucifer (not verified)

Hey Brucifer since you can see into the future. What the Mega Millions numbers for the next 5 months going to be? Since you know what's going to happen before voting day. Tell me what the numbers are. Or is it that you know jack shit about what's going to happen, and you're just talking out of your ass? I'm going to go with the latter on this one.
Mon, 07/30/2012 - 2:31am Permalink
Kim Hanna (not verified)

too bad they never ask mmj states and their programs. Rhode Island program

blows this mass initiative out the window. Did they even check here?

the mass initiative will force you to buy overpriced inferior dispensary meds

when you can grow right in your own yard. another sell-out initiative. Poor people can't afford dispensaries period. Forcing people to use them is trash talking jive.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 7:08pm Permalink
Kim (not verified)

There's no provision for the state of Mass to cover the cost of marijuana medicine ( $350. oz in Maine dispensaries)

. It should be standard language in any ballot question. If the voters determine that marijuana 'IS' medicine than it should be covered by the state insurance Mass Health and not subject to taxation like all other medicines . Its a breach of Fed law anyway so it should be treated like 'legit' medicine within said state.

 Instead the initiative promoters  see it as a tax 'cash cow' for the State of Mass and want to ''bribe' the state/voters/pundits with said 'cash cow' in order to get what the people naturally deserve.

It shows the sponsors are as corrupt as our government since they want to bribe the voters with money bled from the guts of the sick and dying. Shame on the sponsors for this.

On top of that they deny people the right to grow their own medicine except under the exemption clause (which should have stipulated what the exact $$$   amount is for and instead leave it up to the pols to decide the exemption basis.

Lastly a typical 60 day supply should have been specified w doctors exception to exceed said standard amount (say 6 oz a month)

Section 11. Hardship Cultivation Registrations.
The Department shall issue a cultivation registration to a qualifying patient whose access to a medical treatment center is limited by verified financial hardship, a physical incapacity to access reasonable transportation, or the lack of a treatment center within a reasonable distance of the patient’s residence. The Department may deny a registration based on the provision of false information by the applicant. Such registration shall allow the patient or the patient’s personal caregiver to cultivate a limited number of plants, sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply of marijuana, and shall require cultivation and storage only in an enclosed, locked facility.

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 4:30am Permalink
Peter C (not verified)

In reply to by Kim (not verified)

Hey Kim instead of bitching why don't you get off your fat ass and create an initiative, pray to got that anyone will even give it a time of day. Until then shut the fuck up because much like everyone on here you have done jack shit for the cause.
Mon, 07/30/2012 - 2:26am Permalink
Kim (not verified)

In reply to by Peter C (not verified)

Bribing officials with taxes makes you as crooked as our politicians.

nobody in Mass pays taxes on prescriptions except pot people now.

Thanks to your initiative.

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 1:11pm Permalink
Kim (not verified)

In reply to by Peter C (not verified)

With your foul mouth you have no truth. You buy the politicians with taxes for medicine which is rightfully ours. The same as all medicine in Massachusetts it should go without taxation. But the initiative crawls to the people and bribes them with tax dollars to bail out our criminal politicians who have refused for 30 years to grant medical, The initiative therefore lacks principal which you could never understand. I'd never pay for the sins of the majority with taxes on the back of the sick and dying.

Mon, 08/13/2012 - 7:38am Permalink
Kim (not verified)

They are called 'sin taxes' because the majority believes it is a sin to

use them or do them. Like tobacco, alcohol and now cannabis; since no other

medicines are considered 'sinful' and go without taxation.

So by putting marijuana medicine into the 'sin tax' category,

the initiative writer degrades our medicine to the category of sin and

makes it a lesser medicine than big pharma products. No we marijuana

activists refuse to bail out society after you persecuted us for 100 years

and won't pay you a dime in taxes for our medicine.

If they had put in the qualifications to grow your own (what $$$ would that be?)

and the amount of plants and weight limits, we would have been way better off ;

it could have been so easy. All they had to do was check with medical people.

I'm sorry I can't support it on the taxes alone and will get pub'd letters against it passing.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 7:58am Permalink
thetackfour (not verified)

The writer left out Maine on the list of NE states.. If it passes in Mass and it should the fact that patients can't grow their own will fall by the wayside eventually. It looks likely Colorado will legalize. less certain for Washington, and probably not for Oregon.. The lessons we all need to take from this is to VOTE.. Sign up and vote.. Sign every petition for mmj or legalization but it won't count if you're not a voter. Even here in Washington the DEA is closing down dispensaries but they are on the wrong side of history but only if we vote and take a stand...

Sat, 09/15/2012 - 1:57pm Permalink

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