The state Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts has sided with opponents of medical marijuana by ruling that the ballot language for an upcoming ballot question is misleading.

Attorney General Martha Coakley and state Secretary William Galvin’s offices must now re-write the ‘‘yes’’ section of the ballot question in light of Thursday’s ruling by Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy. The re-written section must be submitted to the court for review.

Cordy, however, ruled against the opponents’ request to modify the term ‘‘medical marijuana’’ saying other states have a legal standard for using it.

The Massachusetts Prevention Alliance filed a petition against the question in May that was dismissed by Coakley’s office for not offering a valid way for the court to grant its request, such as by proposing another way to write the question.

Heidi Heilman, the group’s president, said she would like the question to outline that under the proposal 35 marijuana dispensaries could be created in the first year, patients would be able to possess an undefined 60-day supply and some could grow marijuana in their homes.

Heilman says she will continue to challenge the use of the phrase “medical marijuana” because the federal government does not recognize any medicinal value in cannabis.

Despite medical marijuana’s impressive poll numbers around the country, advocates must expect political roadblocks at every step. Those who can’t dispute medical cannabis on its merits only have political delays to employ now. Their position is intellectually bankrupt.

– Joe Klare

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