BOSTON (AP) – Massachusetts residents have approved a new law legalizing medical marijuana.
The law eliminates state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by people with cancer, hepatitis C, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions.
Supporters say marijuana eases the suffering of people with debilitating diseases.
Opponents say the law is ripe for abuse and fraud. They fear there’s no effective way to regulate marijuana dispensaries to make sure only sick patients get the drug. And they say they saw Tuesday’s ballot question as the next step toward full legalization of marijuana.
In 2008, Massachusetts decriminalized possession of marijuana in amounts under 1 ounce.