During the General Election this November, Massachusetts voters will have the opportunity to vote on whether medical marijuana should be legalized for patients with debilitating illnesses.
Supporters of the medical marijuana question gathered over 11,000 signatures in support of the question, which were turned in to the Secretary of State’s office on July 3rd.
The ballot initiative has now been finalized, and will read, “A yes vote would enact the proposed law eliminating state criminal and civil penalties related to the medical use of marijuana by patients meeting certain conditions. The marijuana will be produced and distributed by new state-regulated centers or, in specific hardship cases, patients will be allowed to grow marijuana for their own use.”
The initiative would allow up to 35 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. Only 5 centers would be allowed per county.
The ballot question was filed by the Committee for Compassionate Medicine. According to their spokeswoman, Jennifer Manley, “We had the benefit of learning from 17 other states and the District of Columbia. The hallmark of this initiative is state regulation.”
In order to use medical marijuana under Massachusetts’ initiative, patients would need to receive a written certification from a doctor which indicates that they have specific debilitating medical conditions. Qualifying conditions include cancer, Parkinson’s, and ALS, among others.