Mass. Bar Association and Local Sheriffs Support Proposed Medical Marijuana Bill

December 21, 2009. The Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance has just announced that four MassachusettsStateHouse400x315sheriffs have come out in support of House No. 2160.

There are reports that Carmen Massimiano of Berkshire County, Robert Garvey of Hampshire County, Richard Bretschneider of Nantucket County, and Andrea Cabral of Suffolk County signed a letter late last week announcing their support of the bill.

Matt Allen of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance said “This is the first time that we’ve had a robust coalition since the inception of the bill.”

The Massachusetts Bar Association’s House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly last month to support House No. 2160, a bipartisan medical marijuana bill that was introduced in the State House earlier this year. The bill would “regulate the medical use of marijuana by patients approved by physicians and certified by the department of public health.”

“The MBA supports this legislation because it affirms the rights of patients to be treated with medical marijuana—a drug with proven efficacy—while including important regulations to deter improper use,” said former Massachusetts Bar Association president David White, who introduced the measure. “Provisions like state-issued ID cards for patients, state certification of a limited number of dispensaries, and rules governing secure growing sites ensure that only patients who have their doctor’s recommendation can obtain medical marijuana.”

Thirteen states have passed medical marijuana laws, including Rhode Island and Vermont. Legislation is being considered in 14 other states, including New York and New Jersey.

To read the bill click here.

Massachusetts residents are no different than any other Americans. “They look at the mistakes California made,” said Matt Allen. “That state is a bad model. We want to pattern our model after Rhode Island. Once people see what the model looks like it alleviates their fears.”

On September 23, Suffolk University released the results of a poll showing that 81% of Massachusetts residents support allowing “seriously ill patients to use, grow, and purchase marijuana for medical purposes if they have the approval of their physicians.” The poll found strong support in every demographic, including support from 86% of senior citizens and 70% of Republicans. — Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance.

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