In the interest of public health and safety, the Massachusetts Municipal Association has called for a delay in the enactment of the new medical marijuana law approved by the voters in November. The group believes it is necessary for the law to be delayed until state regulations are fully in place and cities and towns have had adequate time to prepare and plan for the implementation of the law.
Without a stay on enactment, the following will become legal as of January 1, 2013:
- People can possess, use and grow marijuana with a doctor’s note;
- Caregivers can be designated, transport and grow marijuana for as many patients as they want;
- The 90-day clock on marijuana dispensaries begins. Medical marijuana businesses that submit an application to the state with only FOUR requirements (name and address of dispensary, additional cultivation location, officers and board members, operations procedures) will be legal to set up shop after 90 days regardless of whether DPH is ready with regulations and license procedures or not.
It likely that the Department of Public Health will not have full regulations in place for another six to twelve months.
The most effective way to lobby for a legislative stay on enactment is for mayors, selectmen, aldermen, school committees, planning board members, and police departments to contact their state representative and state senator. This must be done before the beginning of the new year.
The MMA has a listing of all town websites, so visit www.mma.org/city-and-town-web-sites, find your town and visit their website to get contact information for your local officials. Be sure that your message to your local official requests that they email their state representative and state senator, and CC Geoffrey Beckwith (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the MMA.
Here are some resources to help you make your case:
- The argument in support of the delay.
- The press release from the MMA.
- An example letter written and submitted by the Sandwich Board of Selectmen.
Please help us delay the enactment of the medical marijuana law NOW, before it’s too late. If you have any questions, please email our coalition partners at the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance (email@example.com).