medical marijuana

State budget negotiations are continuing in Albany this week in the run-up to the self-imposed March 21st deadline set by state legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Democrat of Manhattan’s 75th district, spoke with WAMC's Patrick Donges for an update on budget negotiations and the prospects for medical marijuana in the Empire State, a cause he has long championed.

WAMC

The clock is ticking for health officials in Massachusetts to write regulations for medical marijuana. More than 50 people spoke at a public hearing in Holyoke on Wednesday.

People with diseases and disabilities spoke passionately about the use of medical marijuana and called for rules addressing the proper type, dosage and availability of the medicine.  Charles Papsadori has multiple sclerosis and says medical marijuana relieves the muscle spasms in his legs, but does not leave him groggy the way painkillers do.

Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi and his administration have developed a set of guidelines related to the permitting of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Currently, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working to meet a May 1st deadline to finalize medical marijuana regulations in the state. Mayor Bianchi said he’d like to see the City of Pittsfield begin working on their own framework in the meantime.

Mass. to seek public input on medical marijuana

Feb 13, 2013
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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts public health officials are set to begin a series of "listening sessions" to get input from the public as they develop regulations for medical marijuana. 

The first session will be held Wednesday in Worcester, followed by another session Thursday in Boston and a third session Feb. 27 in Holyoke.

Public hearings on the future regulation of medical marijuana in Massachusetts will be held this month, but as a deadline approaches, some are concerned that the state’s final regulations may come later than expected.

Beginning Wednesday evening, state officials from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will hold a series of public listening sessions before the implementation of medical marijuana regulations.

Advocates of Connecticut's new medical marijuana law say a new business alliance of medical marijuana entrepreneurs could help educate patients, doctors and the public about the drug and combat the stigma of pot.

About a dozen people, including some state Capitol lobbyists, turned out on Tuesday for an organizational meeting of the proposed Connecticut Medical Cannabis Business Alliance.

Last week, the states of Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for recreational use.

In our region, Massachusetts voters widely supported a referendum legalizing the prescription of marijuana for medicinal use.

For more on what these developments mean for the future of marijuana policy in New York State and across the country, WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke with Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project.

On election day in Massachusetts, voters by a wide margin approved a controversial measure to legalize medical marijuana in the Commonwealth. Now, groups for and against the ballot question are reacting to the voters’ decision. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Massachusetts voters approved a  ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana on Tuesday. Question 3 was approved by an almost 2-1 margin; 63% voting yes, with 37% voting no.

In addition to the US Senate seat, Massachusetts voters faced three important ballot questions this election and hours after the polls closed, only two of the three were able to be called. WAMC’s Jake Sorgen reports…

Recent polling reveals some new information on how Massachusetts voters feel about some of the ballot questions to be decided on election day. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports that many are still divided on the issues…

A statewide survey recently conducted by the Polling institute at Western New England Voters reveals two things. One, a majority of voters appear to support legalizing medical marijuana, and Two, voters are at almost an even split over the so-called “Death with Dignity” question.

Opponents of a state ballot question that would allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes are urging Massachusetts voters to reject the proposed law. They say it's poorly drafted and could be easily exploited.

Legislators and law enforcement officials were among those who spoke Monday at an event held by the Vote No on Question 3 Committee.

The ballot question would allow patients with conditions such as cancer, AIDS and glaucoma to register to obtain marijuana at 35 dispensaries in Massachusetts.

Connecticut patients suffering from certain debilitating medical conditions will soon be able to apply to receive medical marijuana.

Starting Monday, the state Department of Consumer Protection will have an application available online. To qualify, a patient must be at least 18 years old and a state resident. A physician must initiate the registration process and certify their patient meets the medical prerequisites.

Proposals for the first two medical marijuana dispensaries in Vermont have won conditional approval from the Vermont Department of Public Safety.

The facilities are planned for Burlington and Waterbury.

The state last year passed a law that authorizes up to four privately run dispensaries to provide marijuana for patients with chronic illness or intractable pain.

The department said Wednesday that when each dispensary satisfies the stipulations in the statute, they will be issued a certificate of operation.

..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin recently announced three initiatives that would be included on the upcoming November ballot. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Galvin on Wednesday announced that voters will be the ones to decide on three controversial ballot questions this November.

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The Joint Committee on Public Health heard from advocates and opponents for the legalizing marijuana for medical use. S 1161 and H 625, the two bills before the Committee have been sent to further study.

H 3885, the medical marijuana ballot initiative, if passed by the legislature, would go to voters in November.

The Committee for Compassionate Medicine testified in favor of legalizing pot for individuals suffering from debilitating disease.

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