Issue June 2013

June 2013

Case report: Croker v. Townsend Oil Company Inc.

The Supreme Judicial Court's December 17, 2012 decision in Croker v. Townsend Oil Company Inc., clarifies several issues regarding claims under the Wage Act. Specifically, the decision clarifies the application of the Wage Act's statute of limitations and the enforceability of general release language covering Wage Act claims

Federal health reform and access to mental health care

Based on the many uninsured persons with mental health or substance use disorders (MH/SUD) and the limits of coverage for those who have MH/SUD benefits, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)1 could expand MH/SUD coverage for millions of people.2 The ACA offers various means to improve access to and enhance quality of MH/SUD coverage and services. This article explores some of the opportunities and challenges under the Affordable Care Act with regard to mental health and substance use disorders.

The Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law and the Workplace

In November 2012, Ballot Question 3, "An Initiative Petition for a Law for Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana," passed with a 63.3 percent vote, making Massachusetts the 18th state in addition to the District of Columbia to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This measure, which became law on Jan. 1, 2013 (Chapter 369 of the Acts of 2012) (the act), allows qualifying patients with certain defined medical conditions or debilitating symptoms to obtain and use marijuana for medicinal use, and it eliminates state criminal and civil penalties for such use by qualifying patients.

Medical Marijuana Law

By now most people, including lawyers, know that Massachusetts voters at the November 2012 state election overwhelmingly approved a ballot question legalizing the dispensing and use of "medical marijuana" in certain instances. The approved ballot question is now titled Chapter 369 of the Acts of 2012, "An Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana" (the act). Since the election, state and local authorities have grappled with how to implement the act. This article will briefly review the act, address initial municipal responses, and highlight key provisions in the Department of Public Health (DPH) Regulations, 105 CMR 725.000, promulgated on May 8, 2013 and effective on May 24, 2013.