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Sunday, May 5, 2013

MassCann/NORML, "Bad Bills to Gut Medical Marijuana in MA, Hearings Tomorrow, Monday, May 6‏th"

MassCann Announcement for May 5, 2013

 

HEARINGS MONDAY, MAY ^ ON BILLS TO GUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN MASSACHUSETTS

[The following includes material reported by Scott Gacek that originally appeared on thedailychronic.net.]

Hearings on a bill that would gut the medical marijuana program approved by Massachusetts voters in November will be held Monday, May 6 at the State House. One bill, Senate Bill 1031, would reduce the number of dispensaries statewide from 35 to 10, forcing disabled and painridden patients to travel long distances for relief. The bill would also tie the hands of doctors by limiting prescriptions to a short list of specified conditions, not including chronic pain, clinical depression, or any number of other conditions where cannabis has been shown to help.

 

The hearing will be at 10 AM in hearing room A-2 at the State House. The Joint Committee on Public Health will be holding a hearing on Senate Bill 1031 and several other proposals that would prevent patients from safely accessing their medicine.

 

SB 1031 is being filed by state Senator John F. Keenan (D-Quincy), a longtime opponent of common sense marijuana policies in the Commonwealth. .


Senate Bill 1031 would reduce the number of dispensaries allowed in the state from a voter-approved 35, including a minimum of 1 and maximum of 5 per county, to only 10 dispensaries allowed state-wide. The proposal would also limit medical marijuana patients to a supply of two ounces per month, down from the 60-day supply of ten ounces recommended by the Department of Public Health.

Most notably, Senate Bill 1031 limits the list of qualifying conditions to cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. This restrictive list does not include chronic pain, ulcerative colitis, paralysis, PTSD and many other conditions that patients can find relief from medical marijuana.

“After four months of soliciting input from all stakeholders in the state, the Department of Public Health has almost finished with writing regulations for the initiative approved by the voters,” said the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance in a statement. ”Let’s let the state move forward with implementing the safest and most secure medical marijuana law in the country rather than starting all over again from scratch.”

Hearings will also be held on House Bill 2039, sponsored by Rep. James Murphy (D-Weymouth) which would establish zoning standards for the siting of medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts, preventing them from being located within a 1000-foot radius of a school, place of worship, civic center, drug free zone or non smoking zones as set by a municipality or the state.

Medical marijuana advocates say that this would prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries from opening anywhere in the state, due to Massachusetts’ workplace smoking ban.

The Joint Committee on Public Health is co-chaired by Sen. Keenan and Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Jamaica Plain), both longtime opponents of medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts residents are urged to contact their elected officials and encourage them to oppose Senate Bill 1031.


You can find your state legislator's contact information here:
************************

Please send money  to MassCann/NORML (
http://www.masscann.org/join-us).

Dues and  contributions to MassCann/NORML are NOT tax -deductible.

MassCann board member and press secretary Andy Gaus (
andygaus@sprynet.com)
edited this edition of MassCann-Announce..


Massachusetts Cannabis Reform  Coalition/NORML
A State Affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform  of Marijuana
Laws

MASS CANN/NORML
PO Box 211
Reading, MA 01867-0311
781-944-2266
Website_ (
http://www.masscann.org/) :

"We shall by and by want a world of hemp more for our own  consumption."

John Adams as Humphrey Ploughjogger, 1763

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Andy Gaus
382 Riverway Apt. B
Boston, MA 02115-6435
Home: 617-232-3896
Cell: 617-331-3285
andygaus@yahoo.com
andygaus@sprynet.com

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