RE “Medical marijuana overseers uneasy” (Page A1, Nov. 9): Your news article makes a good case that Beacon Hill has been lax in its oversight, and probably in its funding, of the state Department of Public Health, as evidenced by recent failures at the department regarding crises at a state drug lab and at a Framingham pharmacy.
So I shouldn’t be surprised that Representative Jeffrey Sanchez claims, “The dialogue and debate have just begun” on medical cannabis. Over years, well-reasoned, rule-based legislation has seen multiple hearings before the Public Health Committee, which has blocked further action. If debate has just begun, it’s due to legislative denial.
Voters this month overwhelmingly approved a solid framework for the safest and most secure medical cannabis program in the nation, and expect prompt enactment of the best rules to implement that. Some reasonable delay to achieve that high goal may be unavoidable. But past experience in Rhode Island, for one, demonstrates that delays in implementation create legal uncertainty for law enforcement, patients, and doctors.
In addition, Question 3 is designed to be revenue-neutral, with application fees from dispensaries to defray the DPH’s administrative costs. The longer rule-making is delayed, the more it will cost the department and taxpayers.
Beacon Hill must realize that continuing to kick this can will lead to more crises.