medical marijuana

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Voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved legalizing medical marijuana in 2012. But many local communities are putting temporary bans in place as the deadline for final applications for state licensed marijuana treatment centers approaches.

About a third of the state’s 351 cities and towns have put in place moratoriums on medical marijuana treatment centers, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. Springfield is the largest city in the state to adopt a moratorium. It was approved by the city council Monday night.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Residents in Pittsfield, Massachusetts have heard from members of an organization looking to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the city.

Nial DeMena is the Director of Operations for Manna Wellness.

“We’re looking to be the first LEED-certified registered marijuana dispensary in the country,” said DeMena.

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Vermont legalized medical marijuana in 2004, and the first medical marijuana dispensaries opened this summer. But a proposed ordinance in the Vermont town of Weathersfield would ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating, as well as businesses that sell tobacco-related paraphernalia.

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Under the ballot measure approved by Massachusetts voters legalizing medical marijuana last year, up to 35 licenses for dispensaries could be opened across the state. The state Department of Public Health revealed its final regulations for the distribution of the drug in May, and Pittsfield has been one of many localities working to change zoning regulations to accommodate the arrival of the dispensaries.

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One-third of Americans now reside in a state where medical marijuana is legal. Lawmakers in Albany are considering a bill that would create a state-regulated medical marijuana program allowing seriously ill patients to have access to the drug under the supervision of a healthcare practicioner. Mental health and treatment professionals participated in a conference call to discuss the issue today.

Advocates say more than 600 doctors from across the state have pledged support to end criminalizing patients who use medical marijuana under professional supervision.

NH Senate Considering Legalizing Medical Marijuana

May 23, 2013
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The Senate is voting whether New Hampshire should join 18 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing seriously ill people to use marijuana to treat their conditions.

The Senate votes Thursday on a House bill that would legalize marijuana use and possession by patients with conditions such as Crohn's disease and cancer. A Senate committee is recommending making changes to the House version that include eliminating the option for patients to grow the drug at home as well as obtain it at a dispensary.

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On Wednesday, public health officials in Massachusetts approved a set of final regulations for the use of medical marijuana, and before the first dispensaries are expected to open, some communities are taking action to accommodate them.

The state’s Public Health Council approved the draft regulations on medical marijuana drawn up by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Under the law approved by voters last November, up to 35 dispensaries will open in communities across the state, but not for the next several months.

Dave Lucas/WAMC

Westchester County assemblyman Steve Katz was to have been in an upstate court this morning to address charges of marijuana and speeding violations dating back to mid-morning on March 14 when his car was stopped by a state trooper along a stretch of the Thruway in the Southern Albany County town of Coeymans.

WAMC

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is holding three simultaneous public hearings Friday on proposed medical marijuana regulations.

   The draft regulations do not specify what diseases or conditions may be treated with marijuana. Dr. Karen Munkaci, a physician and breast  cancer survivor said a physician is best able to determine if a patient might be helped by marijuana

This could be the year that New York joins the 18 other states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont, that already have medical marijuana laws on the  books.  

On Tuesday, New York State Senator Diane Savino and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, along with 68 other co-sponsors, introduced a bill to allow seriously ill patients in the Empire State to use medical marijuana legally with a doctor’s recommendation. Gottfried argues passage of the law is long past overdue.
 

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