After a month of public input, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has released draft regulations Friday that allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for medicinal purposes. To receive marijuana, doctors must determine if their patients have a debilitating medical condition, for example, a serious illness that prevents you from being able to move around your home.
“We focused on the debilitating part, so there it effects patients to the extent that one or more of their life activities is significantly impacted,” said Department of Public Health Interim Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith.
Still, lawmakers are concerned the drug could be abused.
“Doctors could write prescriptions for anything and the Department of Public Health would be extremely limited in its ability to say you know that really is not a legitimate situation for using medical marijuana,” said Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst)
Patients will be allowed to carry a 2-month supply of up to 10 ounces of marijuana. More can be prescribed in limited circumstances.
“That came from attempting to come up with what was a reasonable sort of middle ground based on how other states have approached it,” said Dr. Smith.
Marijuana plants will be cultivated in up to 35 Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers across the state. Kids under 18-years-old will require approval to be treated with the once illegal drug from a parent or guardian, plus two certified doctors.
The regulations are a result of a ballot initiative that was approved by voters in November 2012 that legalizes medical marijuana.
The public has until April 20
th to comment on the draft regulations, which can be read in full at the state’s official website:
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