Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts


 
Massachusetts State Legislation

Medical Marijuana

Bill Number: H.2965

Sponsors:

By petition of Frank I. Smizik and other members of the General Court.

Official Summary:

Relative to regulate the medical use of marijuana by patients approved by physicians and certified by the Department of Public Health.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

DPFMA helped write and find a sponsor for this bill. The legislation would allow the medical use of marijuana with a note from patients physician. Doctor's could not be held criminally liable for recommending marijuana. Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) would provide marijuana to patients. If DPH is unable to provide marijuana then patients and/or their caregivers could grow marijuana for personal use in locked facilities. All patients would have to be registered with the state.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 H Referred to the committee on Health Care
  • 01/01/03 S Senate concurred
  • Public Hearing date Mar 31, 2003 am at 10:00 in Room A-2
  • 09/04/03 H Accompanied a study order, see H4136
  • Nothing New Listed 3/26/04

Complete Bill Language & Info: www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/house/ht02965.htm

Bill Number: S.676

Sponsors:

By petition of Charles E. Shannon.

Official Summary:

Relative to the medical use of marijuana.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

Upon presentation of sufficient medical data by a physician to the Department of Health (DPH), DPH may approve the experimental use of marijuana in the treatment of additional disease entities, including HIV positive and AIDS.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 S Referred to the committee on Health Care
  • 01/01/03 H House concurred
  • Public Hearing date Mar 31, 2003 am at 10:00 in Room A-2
  • 06/26/03 S Accompanied a study order, see S2026 -SJ 561
  • Nothing New Listed 3/26/04

Complete Bill Language & Info: target="_new">www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/st00676.htm

 
Fact
In 2002, the Bush administration spent more than $18.822 billion on the "War on Drugs."

Fact
The United States has locked up nearly a half a million people for non-violent drug offenses. We now have the largest prison population in the world.

Fact
In 2000, Massachusetts had the highest reported rate of illegal drug use in the nation. In 2001, there were over 14,000 adult drug arrests in Massachusetts, of which nearly 75% were for possession.

Fact
In 1999, minorities, who use & sell drugs at similar or lower rates than whites and who represent less than 20% of the state population, made up 54% of all state drug convictions, 80% of all mandatory drug convictions, and in Suffolk County, 89% of all school-zone convictions (imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of two years).

Fact
Research shows that decriminalizing marijuana in Massachusetts would save the state at least $24.3 million in law enforcement resources and would not lead to an increase in marijuana use.

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