Proposed MA DPH regulations regarding medical-marijuana patients and caregivers
Posted by MikeCann via MikeCann.net
To: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
From: Andy Gaus
Re: Proposed regulations regarding medical-marijuana patients and caregivers
Thank you for providing this forum to comment on the proposed DPH regulations on medical marijuana.
Two provisions in particular appear to make it virtually impossible for caregivers to provide the marijuana patients need while dispensaries are slowly organizing themselves:
1) Each caregiver must provide marijuana for only one patient.
2) The caregiver is not supposed to receive any compensation whatever from the patient for providing the marijuana.
Put these two provisions together, and very few people can practically step forward and become caregivers.
Bear in mind that growing marijuana indoors requires investing several hundred dollars in equipment to get started, paying high electrical bills in the ensuing months as well as ongoing costs for soil and fertilizer, and putting in hours of very real physical labor. If a patient grows for herself, these costs are repaid by the marijuana harvested and the relief it brings. But if a patient cannot grow for herself, the very considerable costs and burdens of producing the marijuana fall totally on the caregiver, with all compensation prohibited. This isn't just unfair: it has the practical effect of making it virtually impossible to be a caregiver, which means no one can help the person who cannot grow for herself. If you wish to limit the ability of a caregiver to profit from their cottage industry, you could set a maximum number of patients (but not a maximum of one), or a maximum price per ouince, or both. A limit of, say, 20 patients per caregiver and $100 per ounce would keep caregivers and their homes from turning into for-profit dispensaries but would not leave patients with no one to turn to during a long period when cities and towns are enacting moratoriums and potential dispensary operators are clearing numerous legal hurdles.
The provision that a patient must have no more than two total sources of marijuana is also unnecessarily onerous. If all providers are supposed to use a common state database, any user of the database should be able to verify that the same patient isn't filling the same prescription multiple times at different locations. If a further check is needed, patients could be issued something like a ration book.
One senses in all these regulations the underlying assumption that a set of air-tight regulations is both necessary and sufficient to prevent medical marijuana from being diverted to healthy recreational users, and that without such air-tight regulations, large-scale diversion is inevitable, with disastrous social consequences, particularly the increased availability to minors.
Let's be realistic: recreational users, including minors, already have total access to marijuana if they want it. Kids themselves, when surveyed, report that marijuana is easier to get than alcohol. Those who get their dope from dealers needn't fear being rejected as too young, and most of them get it, not from dealers, but from each other, in a vast informal network where everyone is both a user and a distributor. Likewise, almost all Massachusetts adults who wish to consume marijuana recreationally have found or could find a connection: marijuana prices have actually come down in recent years due to market saturation.
As officials responsible for public health, your first priority must be to make sure that patients who need marijuana for relief of painful and debilitating conditions can get it.
Minimizing diversion cannot be the main goal: it will never be effective for its stated purpose and is certain to cause unnecessary stress and pain for patients who need relief now and for the caregivers who would like to provide it .
THE GRASS ON THE OTHER SIDE
Releaf Magazine June 2012
Just as young children look to their parents for their rules and guidelines, we have been brainwashed as adults into thinking our government must provide us with the same type of authority. Instead of telling the government how we want to live our lives and the rules they must follow, we look to them to decide if our actions are right or wrong. This is apparent as our Bill of Rights and the Constitution continue to wither away in front of our eyes. It is also blatant in the prohibition of cannabis. 17 states have enacted a medical marijuana program, 15 states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis, while over 50% of the country supports legalization of cannabis. While these numbers seem encouraging and may show progression in the cannabis movement, it also shows the power we give up by letting the government decide how cannabis should be regulated. It places Americans in a position where they must settle for less than they deserve and still fall victim to the mercy of a cannabis monopoly. In dry states, the DEA has and will continue to control the monopoly. The free enterprise of the California medical system has been viewed by some as the ‘wild west,’ leading to tighter regulation in other states that implement medical marijuana programs. The leniency of the California program allowed for many California residents to realize large financial gains by starting new businesses and engaging in cannabis related commerce. Wait….Americans making a living for themselves off of the land, growing plants that can heal and provide for self sufficiency? In today’s society it seems too good to be true, and unfortunately it will be for many states moving forward. That’s not what we are lead to believe though, just look at the picture that is being painted. Most states considering medical legislation immediately see opposition from those referencing the “flaws” in the California system. This has lead to private interest groups finding a backdoor into the driver’s seat of a cannabis monopoly. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Massachusetts which has multiple bills calling for medical marijuana being legal for its citizens. The bills that have no support are the bills that give patients the rights to provide for themselves, or appoint their own caregiver to provide for them. The bill that has support from the “for profit” patient’s organization is backed by a corporate giant with interest in keeping growing rights away from patients and put directly into the hands of corporations. I will say this as clearly and as blunt as I can: when you grow your own medicine for yourself, no one makes money from it. Sure, you may be better off as an individual, but as stated earlier, the government tells us how, what and when we can chew, rather than we pick out our own piece to chew on. So, to those living in a state without a medical marijuana program ready to support any bill that offers legalization, I will offer the following advice: the grass might look greener on the other side, but check to see if its fertilized with bullshit.
The Urban Alchemist
Two arrested after marijuana is found in taxi
3am burnin' one in a taxi with 13.5 lbs? Way to blend in guys..........the defective illumination will getcha everytime.......smh....-UA
By Jenna Duncan, Globe Correspondent
Two men traveling in a taxi on Route 3 south in Hingham early this morning were arrested after police found a suitcase in the trunk containing 13½ pounds of marijuana, officials said.
At 3:11 a.m., troopers pulled over a taxi driver for defective illumination on the taxi's rear license plate and changing lanes without signal, State Police said in a statement. When two troopers approached the car, they smelled the odor of burning marijuana coming from inside.
Christopher M. Barnes, 23, of Falmouth, and Charles E. Timbers, 27, of Watertown, were passengers in the taxi. They said they were traveling from South Station to Plymouth but appeared nervous, police said.
One of the troopers had his K9 partner Zander with him. After Zander alerted to the trunk of the car, the officers found a large suitcase “containing green vegetable matter believed to be marijuana.”
Barnes and Timbers are to be arraigned today in Hingham District Court, police said.