DPFMA asserts that seriously ill patients should be able to access and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
- In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act listed marijuana as a Schedule I drug, indicating that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
- Between 1978 and 1997, 35 states — including Massachusetts — passed legislation recognizing marijuana’s medicinal value.
- During the 1990s, the Massachusetts state legislature under Governor Weld passed two medical marijuana laws. The legislation required that the legal marijuana must come from the federal government, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has denied the state access to federally grown marijuana.
- In 1999, a report by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine stated, “The accumulated data indicate a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.”
- Dozens of respected institutions have endorsed medical marijuana, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Bar Association, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of Attorney Generals.
- The latest Times/CNN poll from October 2002 found that 80 percent of Americans support the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes.
- As of March 2004 the DEA continues to block attempts by researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to further study the medicinal properties of marijuana.
- In the 2003-2004 legislative session DPFMA supports House Bill 2965, sponsored by Representative Frank Smizik (D-Brookline), and Senate Bill 676, sponsored by Senator Charles Shannon (D-Second Middlesex) which would allow doctors to recommend marijuana and calls for a public distribution system.
- In November 2004 DPFMA will be placing Medical Marijuana Public Policy Questions on the ballot in several Representative Districts.
- In 2004-2005 DPFMA will be creating a coalition of doctors and nurses in Massachusetts who support the medical use of marijuana.