Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after Chapter 94C the following chapter:- `tuc CHAPTER 94D Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act.
Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:-
"Commissioner," the commissioner of public health.
"Department," the department of public health in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
"Marijuana," the plant Cannabis sativa L., tetrahydrocannabinol, or a chemical derivative or synthesis of tetrahydrocannabinol.
"Physician," a person licensed in accordance with the provisions of section two of chapter one hundred and twelve.
Section 2. There shall be in the department a therapeutic research program, hereinafter called the program, to conduct research and monitor experimentation in the use of marijuana as a therapeutic modality in alleviating the nausea and ill-effect of cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy, in decreasing intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients, and in decreasing airway resistance in asthmatics.
Participation in the program shall be limited to patients with respect to whom a physician has certified the following: that the patient is threatened by loss of life or sight, or asthmatics who experience severe respiratory problems or discomfort; that the patient is not responding to or has incurred severe side effects from the administration of conventional controlled substances; and that the patient has given in writing his informed consent based upon information about the nature, duration, and purpose of the research, the method and means by which it is to be conducted, the inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected, and the effects upon the patient's health or person which may reasonably be expected to come from his participation.
The department shall contract with the national institute on drug abuse, the national cancer institute or any other manufacturer, distributer or analytical laboratory for the receipt of analyzed marijuana, as defined by the department, for distribution to an approved patient upon the written prescription of a physician. Any such program shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws.
For the purpose of implementing this act the commissioner shall make such rules and regulations as may be necessary.
Section 3. The department shall establish guidelines for the administration of the program, after consultation with medical, psychiatric and pharmacological experts. The department shall approve participation in the program in accordance with said guidelines for patients whose physicians certify that the administration of marijuana may have beneficial therapeutic effects. The department shall review the plans, studies, and proposed annual budget of the program and file an annual report of its activities pursuant to this chapter with the governor and the general court.
Except for its annual and interim reports, if any, the records of the department which are maintained pursuant to Chapter 94D shall not be deemed to be public records within the meaning of section seven of chapter four of the General Laws. The department may close any of its proceedings or meetings, and the provisions of section eleven A> of chapter thirty A of the General Laws shall not be applicable thereto.