Eagle Tribune, MA
BOSTON — Massachusetts could become the fourth New England state to legalize medical marijuana under a plan before state lawmakers.
On the heels of Rhode Island's approval last week of medical marijuana use, lawmakers here are pushing a measure, with the support of some North of Boston legislators, that would allow doctors to treat patients with marijuana. Backers say people who suffer from debilitating pain and chronic diseases should be able to gain relief without fear of arrest, something 11 states have approved.
But the initiative faces high hurdles. It is opposed by the Romney administration. Local lawmakers, aware of the plague of opiate addiction in the Merrimack Valley, want to ensure access to medical marijuana is airtight. Also, marijuana use — even under a doctor's care — is illegal under federal law, and the Supreme Court holds that permissive state laws are trumped by the federal prohibition.