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Massachusetts: Politicians Debate Race, Opioid Addiction In Marijuana Legalization Battle

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Opponents of marijuana legalization in Massachusetts have assembled a powerful show of force in the state's top politicians. On Wednesday, the anti-pot Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts released a list of 119 politicians who oppose marijuana legalization.

The list includes Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, and Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

Meanwhile, Boston city councilors Michelle Wu and Tito Jackson and State Rep. David Rogers, D-Cambridge, were holding a press conference outside the Statehouse to support marijuana legalization.

Pro-marijuana advocates may face quite a challenge, but voters in Massachusetts have already voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and legalize medical marijuana. Recent polls show that voters are split on the issue of legal marijuana for recreational use.

The Western Massachusetts lawmakers to come out against marijuana legalization on Wednesday include State Sen. Don Humason, R-Westfield, State Sen. Anne Gobi, D-Spencer, State Rep. Todd Smola, R-Warren, State Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley, State Rep. Michael Finn, D-West Springfield, State Rep. Thomas Petrolati, D-Ludlow, State Rep. Angelo Puppolo, D-Springfield, and State Rep. Ellen Story, D-Amherst.

Maine: Marijuana Doctor Who Held Clinics In Hotels Is Reprimanded, Fined

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A doctor who held a medical marijuana authorization clinic at a hotel and failed to adequately document examinations has been reprimanded and fined by the board that licenses physicians in Maine.

The board announced on Monday that Dr. William Ortiz accepted an agreement under which he'll pay a $2,000 fine and reimburse the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine $1,412 for its investigation, reports CBS News.

According to the board, Ortiz saw 59 patients during a "medical seminar" at a hotel in Orono, Maine, in March 2013, but there was no documentation of an exam for 44 of them. Ortiz charged the patients $200 cash to issue a three-month medical marijuana certificate, then $175 more for a one-year certificate on a follow-up visit, the reprimand said, reports David Hench at the Portland Press Herald.

The board also said Ortiz kept "odd hours," including appointments at 3 a.m.

Ortiz, who has been licensed to practice medicine in Maine since 2012, promised not to engaqe in such conduct in the future. His practice has offices in Caribou, Maine, and in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

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