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Medical Marijuana, Physicians, and State Law

Medical Marijuana, Physicians, and State Law

George J. Annas, J.D., M.P.H.
August 6, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1408965

As Massachusetts prepares to implement its new medical-marijuana law, agents of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have reportedly visited at least seven Massachusetts physicians at their homes or offices and told them they must either give up their DEA registration or sever formal ties with proposed medical-marijuana dispensaries. These encounters were meant to intimidate the physicians and to discourage them from taking an active role in medical-marijuana dispensaries, and they have apparently succeeded. But there are differences between state and federal law, between talking to patients and selling drugs, and between acting as a physician and acting as a marijuana entrepreneur. With medical-marijuana laws poised to come into effect in a majority of states, it seems worthwhile to put medical marijuana in historical and legal context.

One Comment to Medical Marijuana, Physicians, and State Law

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