Monday, May 18, 2009

The Mass. Medical Marijuana Bill ... again

Some of you old timers who have seen or heard me over the past 20 years fight tooth and nail for the medicinal uses of cannabis here in Mass. In 1992 then Bill Weld signed the first medical marijuana bill, named for the Senator Bertonzzi from Milford. In 1997 the Joe Hutchins medical defense bill was signed by Bill Weld. I along with some very dedicated fellow reformers made these things happen with signature gathering and public debates, including two drug policy events at Harvard back in the early 90's.

Since then, 14 States have enacted some form of medical marijuana and every election cycle since, the legislature has ignored medical marijuana and the sick are still being prosecuted, doctors are being put into difficult positions referring patients to a known relief agent and would be patients are afraid to even ask. Public Policy Questions all over the State asking if medical marijuana should be allowed, have been approved, overwhelmingly and still ignored by the House and Senate.

Tomorrow, Tuesday May 19, the Joint Committee on Public Health will again take up the House Bill 2160, (S 1739) An Act to regulate the medical use of marijuana by patients approved by physicians and certified by the department of public health.

While most of us can't take time off to go to the hearings, written statements should be sent to both:

Senator Susan C. Fargo
Joint Committee on Public Health
Room 504
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Representative Jeffrey Sánchez
Joint Committee on Public Health
Room 130
State House
Boston, MA 02133

The Bill is below.

http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house
/186/ht02pdf/ht02160.pdf

3 Comments:

At May 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not opposed to this at all, but don’t you think there are other things we should be writing to our reps about in light of the economy at the moment that are at least as important as this? I wonder why you your not encouraging people to write or show up to protest at the hearings on these other bills. I think you have a good insight on lots of things and appreciate the work you do on this blog. But I think you are a little biased on this issue. But I guess you have the right.

 
At May 18, 2009 at 2:09 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Annon,

Yes.. guilty as charged. I'm biased on this subject. I've worked on it so long and am alerted to these hearings via others.

There are many things that I can inform you about, but I'm not privy to all the hearings and when they come up. Most of the meetings on the Hill are secret and not open to public comment or debate. I get daily updates from various groups asking me to write my reps, congress, senate and even the President. There's not enough blog space to list even half and quite frankly, none of us have the time in each day to sit down and write to our families, let alone our elected elite on the multitude of issues that appear before the legislature.

By the by.. I've never received an alert from any of my reps at any level, of a hearing where the public has the right to comment.

I like to think, I have informed our readers of many different topics in the past 7 months, that may not have been easy to find.

And on economic issues in the State, most if not all of our input is ignored, unless we have donated large some's of money to a candidate, are union members or a major employer.

 
At May 18, 2009 at 3:39 PM , Blogger Linda and George said...

You do a great job here getting information out to lots of people, so no need for you to apologize. As for being biased, hey, nothing wrong with that! You fought long and hard on this issue, of course it matters to you. Hope that you are planning to testify tomorrow, and while you are there, maybe you can mention a few of the other issues that we are all concerned about to the reps. And ask why we are never informed about this public forums to talk about bills and new legislation. You raise a valid point, our reps never tell us about this stuff. Ask Richardson while you are there why she did not bother including information on this session in her so called newsletter. Keep up the good work Jim.

 

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