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Details of medical marijuana law

Passed by ballot initiative in November, the state’s new medical marijuana law allows physicians to certify patients with certain debilitating physical or mental ailments to use the drug to obtain relief.

Some of the qualifying ailments listed in the law are cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis and certain types of post-traumatic stress disorder. A patient’s condition has to be “debilitating” and has to be documented as such by a physician.

The new law won’t give operators of dispensaries immunity from federal marijuana laws and will not supersede state laws prohibiting possession, cultivation or sale of marijuana for nonmedical purposes. It does not require insurance providers to cover the costs of medical marijuana and does not require a health care provider to authorize medical marijuana’s use. The law does not require workplaces, schools or correctional facilities to accommodate patients with a medical marijuana prescription, and it does not require public places to accommodate smoking of marijuana.

In addition, the law says the state cannot compel a workplace to allow its employees to use marijuana.

— BOB DUNN

Related

New medical marijuana law leaves questions unanswered

Friday, June 27, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — While medical marijuana dispensaries are now legal in Massachusetts, state officials are still working to determine where they will be located and how they will be regulated. State law authorizes up to five dispensaries per county, up to a total of 35 in the state, but the Department of Public Health has a year to determine how the … 0

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