Mass. Still Lacking Medical Marijuana Registration System, Creating Confusion With Police

A group of Massachusetts police chiefs will meet with the state’s department of public health Thursday to discuss enforcing medical marijuana laws.

Patients must currently carry a note from their doctor. But those can be hard to authenticate, according to John Carmichael, a deputy chief with the Walpole police department. The state DPH is building a registration card system for patients. Carmichael says once that’s set up, police officers will be able to look up who is allowed to have medical marijuana.

“But until then we’re left with no way to really verify that,” says Carmichael, “and believe it or not, people are trying to circumvent the law still. They’re using this law for illicit purposes, and unfortunately a lot of the loopholes that were built into this law allow that.”

Carmichael says that includes patients buying marijuana illegally while dispensaries for the drug remain in the licensing process, and he says some patients are growing more marijuana than the ten ounces allowed under the law. A DPH spokesperson could not say when the registration card system will be up and running, but says it will be before marijuana dispensaries open.