Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jan 2013
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2013 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Denise Lavoie, Associated Press


Massachusetts voters may have enthusiastically approved the
legalization of medical marijuana, but that has not stopped
communities around the state from rushing to amend their zoning
regulations to make sure marijuana dispensaries are banned or
restricted in their towns.

Although the law allowing the use of marijuana for patients with
serious medical conditions went into effect Tuesday, the state
Department of Public Health has until May 1 to issue regulations on
who will run the dispensaries, who will work there, and how they will
be operated.

DPH must also decide what constitutes a 60-day supply patients can

Some cities and towns are working to bar dispensaries. Wakefield and
Reading have already approved zoning changes to keep them out.

"People are concerned about how broad the law was written and that the
dispensaries could be used by more than just people with medical
issues," said Ruth Clay, the health director for Wakefield, Reading,
and Melrose, which is also working to pass a ban on

The law approved through Question 3 on the November election ballot
eliminates civil and criminal penalties for the use of marijuana by
people with cancer, Parkinson's disease, AIDS, and other conditions
determined by a doctor.

Opponents have said they are concerned that the public health
officials will not be able to prevent abuses of the new law.

The Massachusetts Municipal Association is calling for a six-month
delay in implementing the law. 
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