Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Sen. Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst and Brookline Rep. Frank Smizik are co-sponsoring the bill. They say it would establish a registration process for patients suffering from chronic or debilitating illnesses, according to Freedom Is Green.
Representative Frank Smizick issued this statement: “ I’ve met patients with ALS, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, cancer, and other serious diseases who cannot tolerate the side effects of available medications or find them ineffective. Some of these patients have been able to reduce their intake of toxic or addictive medications and others have been able to stay on life-prolonging treatments like chemotherapy by using medical marijuana. As long as use is approved by a doctor, medical marijuana should be an available treatment option for these individuals, just as it is in Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont,” said Smizik.
A physician would need to confirm the condition in writing for a patient to receive marijuana from one of the 19 dispensaries planned under the bill.
Patients and dispensaries would be registered with the Department of Public Health, which would regulate the process.
The bill has earned some important endorsements icnlouding: The Massachusetts Nurses Association, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, the MA Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the MA Breast Cancer Coalition, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union, the AIDS Action Committee, the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Cambridge Cares about AIDS, the Teen AIDS Peer Corps, and the Massachusetts Hepatitis Patient Empowerment Project.
According to AP reports, sufferers of chronic illness showed overwhelming support for H625 Tuesday at a hearing of the Legislature’s public health committee.