With the passage of Question 3 last week on Election Tuesday, cities and towns are left to set regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Voters approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes, as prescribed by a doctor, by a 63 to 37 percent margin. With the approval comes the creation of marijuana dispensaries—"non-profit treatment centers that will grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers," according to the Secretary of State.
There are already state regulations built into Question 3, which require the dispensaries to apply and pay for a Department of Public Health registration, as well as submit operating procedures, including the mandatory storage of marijuana in locked facilities.
Communities will also need to set local regulations for dispensaries.
Acton Police Chief Frank J. Widmayer III said the passing of the law will cause more problems.
"I believe the Medical Marijuana Law that was passed will only help towards complete legalization which I oppose," he told Acton Patch. "Unless strict guidelines are put in place, people will be growing it whenever and wherever they please. I expect even more issues will come after passage of this legislation than we had when marijuana possession became a civil violation. The civil penalty for marijuana possession has done nothing except fine a few people while increasing its use among all ages."
Massachusetts is the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana. Dispensaries have popped up all over the United States, and there are websites dedicated to finding them, including: WeedMaps.com.
Colorado has marijuana dispensaries in place, which were overloaded with callers seeking pot for recreational use earlier this week, according to News5 KOAA.com.
Marijuana has been used to help with several medical conditions in the 17 other states where it was legal before Tuesday. According to Pain Management of America, "Some of the more common conditions and symptoms treated with medical marijuana include chronic pain, nausea, glaucoma, seizure disorders, cancer, diabetes [and] muscle spasms."
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that an Oakland, Calf., dispensary generated nearly $1 million in tax revenue and sells approximately $20 million in pot annually.
"This new law will enable others who may not have been at risk to pick up even worse drug habits," Widmayer said. "We already deal with a large amount of marijuana coming in from and drug money going back to states such as California, where they have similar laws and problems. I expect nothing but trouble to come from this change since anyone will qualify for medical marijuana if they wish."