But the question is not whether to decriminalize cannabis but whether it should be made legal (under state law) for medical use.

White Coat Underground: Homefront Edition

I received a letter from a reader (OK, my sister, but she’s a reader) asking me to weigh in on a couple of Massachusetts ballot initiatives. I normally wouldn’t care what’s happening in Mass, but these questions touch on important medical ethics and policy issues that I’ve addressed before.

Medical Use of Marijuana

Ballot Question 3:

A YES VOTE would enact the proposed law eliminating state criminal and civil penalties related to the medical use of marijuana, allowing patients meeting certain conditions to obtain marijuana produced and distributed by new state-regulated centers or, in specific hardship cases, to grow marijuana for their own use.

A NO VOTE would make no change in existing laws.

Many states are struggling with this question. Marijuana is considered by many Americans to be a relatively harmless drug, one whose criminalization is controversial. But the question is not whether to decriminalize cannabis but whether it…

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