MASSACHUSETTS: Now that medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts and licenses have been awarded for the first twenty dispensaries across the state, you’d guess that my practice is busily preparing to meet the demands of patients seeking marijuana prescriptions for several debilitating conditions including chemotherapy-related nausea and AIDS-related weight loss.
You’d guess wrong.
Since Massachusetts voters approved legalization of marijuana in 2012 I’ve received no special training (required for physicians to certify patients as eligible for marijuana treatment), been invited to no seminars or lectures, and have little more information than that which the state has provided to my fellow citizens.
Nothing. Nada. Crickets.
Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for millennia, including by ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Roman healers. Queen Victoria, famously, was given cannabis to ease her labor pains. Modern proponents of medical marijuana tout its ability to relieve symptoms of a variety of conditions including cancers, HIV infection, hepatitis, glaucoma, and ALS (Lou Gerhig’s Disease). Recently, the FDA approved research on a medicinal form of marijuana that shows promise in treating epilepsy in children. Medical marijuana is now legal in twenty states, plus the District of Columbia.