SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Doctors will soon be able to prescribe marijuana in Massachusetts. It's just one of the latest steps in the country towards regulation of the drug instead of reform.
Michael Cutler, an attorney who has worked with other states' medical marijuana legislation said, "It is to regulate it and tax it, the same way we found with alcohol, it's now far easier for high school students to get pot than it is to get alcohol and that's because we taxed and regulate alcohol and we need to do the same thing with marijuana."
There was strong support for the change with 63% of the people voting yes on ballot question 3
Medical marijuana is intended to help people cope with illness like cancer and AIDS.
The hope is also that the state can regulate and prevent the illegal distribution of the drug.
Howard Anderson of Southborough said his biggest concern with marijuana is that sometimes people who buy it probably don't know what they're getting and who the source is.
Colorado and Washington voters actually legalized marijuana in their respective states. It's something some in Massachusetts think full legalization could happen here one day as well.
Chantal Wakefield said, "I was talking to one of my friends yesterday and they think it's going to get to the point where it's going to be ok. It's similar to like alcohol, people are just going to go out and there will be bars where you can smoke marijuana at, you never know, give it 20 years."
You won't be able to pick up a prescription for marijuana tomorrow.
Starting January 1st doctors will be able to recommend the use. The Department of Public Health will then define regulations for dispensaries and there will only be 35 initial dispensaries throughout the state.