Georgetown, MA – The coming year marks the one hundredth anniversary of Massachusetts’ first law (see below) interfering with free commerce in Cannabis intended for human consumption. It was the first state law concerning Cannabis in the nation. The 1911 law required a prescription from a physician.
“I certainly empathize with Massachusetts’ residents who would benefit from returning to the law of 1911,” said Mass Cann founder Steven Epstein. “It is what we hoped would happen in 1992 following Governor Weld’s approval of “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE USE OF MARIJUANA IN THERAPEUTIC RESEARCH.”” This was the first state law in the country to re-legalize medical use since imposition of the federal prohibition. Unfortuantely, unlike the more recent laws in the District of Columbia and fifteen states our law requires a federally approved source. Since every administration since Bush I refuses to approve a supplier, it is a cruel joke.”
As we are about to celebrate the second anniversary of the decriminalization of an ounce or less by the people, the question remains: is it a medicine, access to which must be by doctors’ prescription, or is it an herb.
Dr. Lester Grinspoon speaks to this question following the October 2009 hearing on Taxation and Regulation Bill before the Joint Revenue Committee. Dr. Grinspoon, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Emeritus) at Harvard Medical School is the author of “Marijuana Reconsidered” and “Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine.”
Massachusetts lead the way to independence in 1775 and demonizing cannabis in 1911. After 100 years will the Massachusetts legislature, facing a two billion dollar budget deficit, be the first to recognize that Massachusetts can no longer afford to prohibit commerce in cannabis?
As always, but particularly as 2010 becomes 2011, Mass Cann wishes all members of the media success in their pursuit of happiness.
Acts, 1911, Chap. 373
An Act relative to the issuance of search warrants
Be it enacted, etc. as follows:
Section 1. If a person makes complaint under oath to a police, district, or municipal court, or to a trial justice or justice of the peace authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases, that he has reason to believe that opium, morphine, heroin, codeine, cannabis indica, cannabis sativa or any other hypnotic drug or any salt, compound or preparation of said substances is kept or deposited by a person named therein in a store, shop, warehouse, building, vehicle, steamboat, vessel or place other than by a manufacturer or jobber, wholesale druggist, registered pharmacist, registered physician, registered veterinarian, registered dentist, registered nurse, employees of incorporated hospitals, or those who are entitled by law to have possession of any of the above mentioned articles, such court or justice, if it appears that there is probable cause to believe that said complaint is true, shall issue a search warrant to a sheriff, deputy sheriff, city marshal, chief of police, deputy marshal, police officer or constable commanding him to search the premises in which it is alleged that such opium, morphine, heroin, codeine, cannabis indica, cannabis sativa or any other hypnotic drug or any salt, compound or preparation of said substances is kept or deposited, and to seize and securely keep the same until final action, and to arrest the person or persons in whose possession it is found, together with all persons present if any of the aforesaid substances is found, and to return the warrant with his doings thereon, as soon as may be, to a court or trial justice having jurisdiction in the place in which such substance is alleged to be kept or deposited.
Section 2. Whoever is present where any of the aforesaid drugs is found shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment in the house of correction for three months.
Section 3. Whoever, not being a manufacturer or jobber of drugs, wholesale druggist, registered pharmacist, registered physician, registered veterinarian, registered dentist, registered nurse, or an employee of an incorporated hospital, or otherwise entitled by law to have possession of any of the above mentioned drugs, is found in possession thereof, except by reason of a physician’s prescription, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for six month in the house of correction
Approved April 29, 1911
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