Medical marijuana advocates: Patients suffering because of slow implementation of 2012 Mass. law

BOSTON — Medical marijuana advocates gathered recently on the State House steps for a vigil to remember patients who died before they could gain safe and legal access to medical cannabis, with advocates describing them as victims of the state’s slow implementation of its medical marijuana program.

“We’ve seen a lot of patients struggle and a lot of fallen family members and friends while we’ve been waiting for the implementation of the medical marijuana program in Massachusetts,” Nichole Snow, executive director of Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, said. “It’s been three years since voters passed the Humanitarian Care Act of 2012. The slow implementation and rollout has cost lives.”

At the polls in November 2012, 63 percent of Bay State voters approved a law to give patients with certain ailments the option to use medical marijuana to treat themselves. So far, only one dispensary facility has opened in the state.

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