Fifteen patients who say they suffer from “cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other debilitating conditions” and their self-described caregiver are suing the state for access to marijuana, The Boston Globe reports.
Although Mass. voters approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in November 2012, there are no medical marijuana dispensaries open in the state yet. The law required the State Health Department to register up to 35 medical marijuana dispensaries within a year of Jan. 1, 2013, but as of June 27, 2014, the Globe reports that only 11 dispensaries had preliminary licenses, and would probably not open till next year.
William Downing, owner of Yankee Care Givers in Reading and his patients filed the suit last week in the state Supreme Judicial Court, alleging that state health officials have “harmed patients by warning Downing to close his marijuana delivery business.”
According to the Globe:
The suit says that the state’s failure to get medical marijuana dispensaries running more than 18 months after a law legalizing it for medicinal use went into effect has created a hardship for patients.
Yankee Care Givers website encourages Downing’s patients to join their lawsuit to restore access to medicinal cannabis, saying that Yankee will pay the lawyers so patient participation is free.
According to Yankee Care Givers:
No patient will be asked to testify or appear in court unless they want to. To participate, all you need do is indicate you are willing to do so by allowing Yankee lawyers to know you are a patient, which is private health information.
No date has been set for the court hearing.
Read the full Globe story here.