Medical Marijuana Legalized By Massachusetts

According to estimates, Massachusetts with a current vote total of 63% in favor and 37% opposed (with 40% of the vote tallied) is all set to become the eighteenth state in the United States of America to allow for the use of marijuana under physician supervision.

The state now joins its fellow Northeastern states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maine in recognizing and permitting the medical use of cannabis. The law when implemented will eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients.

A patient, to qualify, 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. The law will permit patients to possess a marijuana supply of 60 days for their personal medical use and the amount will be determined by the Department of Public Health.

A personal caregiver may be designated by the patient and he or she must be 21 years old and could assist with the medical use of marijuana for the patients but the caregiver would be prohibited from consuming that marijuana. The patients and caregivers will have to register with the Department of Public Health submitting the physician’s certification. Massachusetts 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.

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Effort to Legalize Medical Marijuana in Ohio

Peter Lewis, one of the biggest backers of medical marijuana in the United States, is seeking proposals to conduct a ballot initiative campaign to legalize marijuana for medical use in Ohio.

According to the request for proposals, fifteen states have made marijuana legal for qualified patients, most through the passage of similar voter initiatives.

Lewis is presently pushing it through in his home state of Ohio.

“Of the states that continue to prohibit medical use of marijuana, Ohio stands out as having particularly high levels of voter support,” stated the RFP, “This provides an opportunity to enact a new law that will directly help patients and to do so in a manner that will serve as a model for other states.”

The goal of the proposals is not just to pass a voter initiative legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio but for designing a campaign that could create a model for future campaigns in other states.

“You shouldn’t take it as a given that there will be a ballot initiative this campaign,” said Graham Boyd, Lewis’ lawyer and adviser, “But we want to see proposals.”

Lewis has already given millions to Marijuana Policy Project, the reform group, including $900,000 in 2010 besides giving 200,000 in support of California’s Proposition 19, the bill that sought unsuccessfully last November to legalize marijuana in California.