War on Drugs

MA Medical Marijuana Rules Leave Criteria to Doctors

A little something to steady the nerves?


Draft rules for medical use of marijuana in Massachusetts, issued Friday by the state Department of Public Health, largely leave it up to doctors to decide which patients will qualify for treatment with the drug.

Patients must have a debilitating condition -- defined as causing weakness, wasting syndrome, intractable pain or nausea, or impairing strength or ability and limiting major life activities -- and the regulatons list qualifying conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and ALS. But they also would allow doctors and their patients to decide what other conditions would qualify patients for treatment.

The 45 pages of rules also would require applicants wishing to open a medical marijuana treatment center, known as a dispensary, to be a nonprofit and to operate their own cultivation and dispensing facilities. No wholesale distribution of marijuana products would be allowed, the department said in a news release.