The Massachusetts Medical society doesn’t think the bar will be set high enough for legal marijuana use under the Bay State’s Medical Marijuana Law effective January, 2013. Under proposed regulations issued by the Department of Public Health, individuals with a debilitating medical condition (e.g., cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease) may seek the law’s protection. But the Massachusetts Medical Society wants the DPH to require that individuals show they also suffer from “debilitating symptoms,” and that those symptoms can’t be addressed by conventional methods, its president, Richard Aghebabina, M.D., testified recently. The Medical Society is asking DPH to establish an advisory clinical group within DPH that will set the appropriate standards for covered conditions and determine how serious symptoms must be before an individual can be certified for medical marijuana use. The Society expressed concern that unfettered discretion allowed under the other states’ laws in determining qualifying conditions can threaten the integrity of the entire system. “We should not follow that model in Massachusetts,” it said.
The DPH regulations approved May 13, 2013, nevertheless, have defined a qualifying patient, for a person at least 18 years of age, as one having a debilitating medical condition.