The Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance (MPAA) has long held a special place among cannabis groups in the state.
For one thing, it’s the successor to the coalition that sponsored the successful voter ballot initiative on legalizing medical cannabis here in 2012. It’s also the only non-government group besides the ACLU guaranteed a seat — actually, two seats — on the official Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board, which advises the state’s Cannabis Control Commission on policy. Essentially, the MPAA is enshrined in state law as the emissary of medical marijuana patients.
Instead of allowing state-registered caregivers to cultivate marijuana or pick up dispensary orders on behalf of up to five patients instead of just one, MPAA suggested that the state Cannabis Control Commission should have to approve additional patients on a case by case basis. Regardless of either policy’s merits (truly, I take no position), why would an organization that represented patients favor stricter limits on a program that would significantly expand access to medical marijuana for poor and disabled patients?