With the passage of a ballot initiative this month, Massachusetts became the latest state to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, joining 17 others and the District.
But for patients who use marijuana to alleviate chronic pain, nausea or to stimulate their appetite, among other uses, legalizing marijuana is only part of the battle. Health insurance rarely if ever covers its use; some patients spend hundreds of dollars a month or more on the drug. The situation may not change anytime soon, some experts say.
Along with heroin, LSD and some other drugs, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. That means the drug is considered to have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.