Medical Marijuana: Connecticut Bill Passes House, Heads for Senate

A bill that would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana for some patients has passed out of the Connecticut House of Representatives on a vote of 89-58. It now heads for the state Senate, which approved a similar measure in 2005. That bill was defeated in the House. The vote came after six hours of debate in the House, where lawmakers cited their own experiences with debilitating illness.

"The message is simple: We have compassion for people who are suffering in this state," said Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) during the debate.

"Today, we have the opportunity to give relief to Connecticut residents who are sick, who are dying, who are wasting away, who are losing their quality of life," she said. "And we can tell those Connecticut residents that the state of Connecticut no longer will prosecute you," said Rep. Penny Bacchiochi (R-Somers), who led the fight for the bill.

The bill, HB 6715, would allow physicians to certify an adult patient's use of marijuana after determining he or she has a debilitating condition and could potentially benefit from marijuana. Patients and their primary caregivers would then register with the state's Department of Consumer Protection. Patients and caregivers could grow up to four plants four feet high in an indoor facility.

The bill was supported by a broad coalition including The Alliance Connecticut, United Methodist Church of Connecticut, Connecticut Nurses Association, Dr. Andrew Salner -- Director of the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital, A Better Way Foundation, the Drug Policy Alliance Network, and the Drug Policy Alliance.

It was opposed by law enforcement and by Rep. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton), who led a virtual legislative crusade against it. Boucher filed 50 hostile amendments to the bill before Thursday's vote, but gave up after the first eight got shot down. Her proposals included informing police departments of the names of registered medical marijuana users and requiring the state Agriculture Department to set up a pilot program.

House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero put on his best street hustler accent as he opposed the bill. "How do you get it?" he asked, referring to the seeds for starting the four plants allowed under the bill "You've got to buy it. How do you buy it? As Rep.(Michael) Lawlor said, you've got to hit the streets folks -- nickel bag, dime bag. You gotta make a drug deal, baby."

Cafero's Scarface imitation notwithstanding, the bill has passed and now heads to the Senate, where it faces committee votes.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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THC is a very potent

THC is a very potent chemical compared to other psychoactive drugs.
An intravenous (IV) dose of only one milligram (mg) can produce serious mental and psychological effects. Once in your bloodstream, THC typically reaches the brain within seconds after it is inhaled and begins to go to work. Neurons are the cells that process information in the brain.
Chemicals called neurotransmitters allow neurons to communicate with each other.
Neurotransmitters fill the gap, or synapse, between two neurons and bind to protein receptors, which enable various functions and allow the brain and body to be turned on and off.
Foreign chemicals, like THC, can mimic or block actions of neurotransmitters and interfere with normal functions.
In your brain, there are groups of cannabinoid receptors concentrated in several different places. These cannabinoid receptors have an effect on several mental and physical activities, including:
Short-term memory
Coordination
Learning
Problem solving

Cannabinoid receptors are activated by a neurotransmitter called anandamide. Anandamide belongs to a group of chemicals called cannabinoids. THC is also a cannabinoid chemical.
THC mimics the actions of anandamide, meaning that THC binds with cannabinoid receptors and activates neurons, which causes adverse effects on the mind and body.
High concentrations of cannabinoid receptors exist in the hippocampus, cerebellum and basal ganglia. The hippocampus is located within the temporal lobe and is important for short-term memory.
When the THC binds with the cannabinoid receptors inside the hippocampus, it interferes with the recollection of recent events.
THC also affects coordination, which is controlled by the cerebellum.
The basal ganglia controls unconscious muscle movements, which is another reason why motor coordination is impaired when under the influence of marijuana.
Marijuana is filled with hundreds of chemicals, and when it is burned, hundreds of additional compounds are produced.
When marijuana is inhaled or ingested in some other form, several short-term effects occur. Some of the marijuana's side effects are:
Problems with memory and learning
Distorted perception
Difficulty with thinking and problem solving
Loss of coordination
Increased heart rate
Anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks
The initial effects created by the THC in marijuana wear off after an hour or two, but the chemicals stay in your body for much longer.
The terminal half-life of THC is from about 20 hours to 10 days, depending on the amount and potency of the marijuana used.
This means that if you take one milligram of THC that has a half-life of 20 hours, you will still have 0.031 mg of THC in your body more than four days later.
Ongoing studies now show a number of possible symptoms associated with the cessation of marijuana use. These symptoms most commonly include: irritability, nervousness, depression, anxiety and even anger.
Other symptoms are restlessness, severe changes in appetite, violent outbursts, interrupted sleep or even insomnia.
In addition to these possible physical effects, psychological dependence usually develops because a person's mind craves the high that it gets when using the drug.

KINDA LIKE CRACK COCAINE EVEN THOUGH POT IS NOT A STIMULANT
Beyond these effects that marijuana has, marijuana smokers are susceptible to the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema and bronchial asthma. Other effects include dry-mouth, red eyes, impaired motor skills and impaired concentration.
Long-term use of the drug can increase the risk of damaging the lungs and reproductive system, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It has also been linked to heart attacks.

Typical THC levels, which determines marijuana potency, range from 0.3 to 4 percent. However, some specially grown plants can contain THC levels as high as 15 percent
During early development, cannabidiolic acid is the most prevalent chemical. Later, cannabidiolic acid is converted to cannabidiol, which is later converted to THC
In 2003, drug law enforcement authorities seized 2.7 million pounds (1.2 million kg)of marijuana from illegal operations. Marijuana is also smuggled into the United States from Mexico, Cambodia and Thailand, among other countries.
Approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of the THC is transferred into the body when smoking a joint
About 40 percent to 50 percent of the THC is transferred into the body when using a pipe.

Tens of thousands of people are now in prison for marijuana offenses. An even greater number are punished with probation, fines, and civil sanctions, including having their property seized, their driver's license revoked, and their employment terminated.
People who are intoxicated constantly, regardless of the drug, are unlikely to be productive members of society.

Among high school students, heavy use is associated with school failure, but school failure usually comes first.
The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory.
However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information.

NOW ITS YOUR CHOICE
1 JOINT MIGHT NOT KILL YOU OR ANYONE
BUT ITS NEVER 1 JOINT
ITS NEVER 1 DRINK
ITS NEVER 1 SNORT

AND LOOK AT ALL THE FACTS AT WHAT THEY CAN DO
RESEARCH WHAT ALCOHOL AND SMOKING CIGARETTES DO TO THE BODY AND YOU WILL SEE SIMILARITIES AS WELL AS OTHER DRUGS AND YOU BEGIN TO SEE THE ALTERNATIVES THAT ADDICTS TURN TO WHEN LEAVING 1 DRUG FOR ANOTHER

Kaiser Health researchers have published a study showing that marijuana use is correlated with a significant increase in the risk of hospitalization due to injuries. The study, published in the April 2003 edition of the Annals of Epidemiology, covered 64,657 subjects from Northern California, of whom 13,971 were current marijuana users. Researchers found that among men, current marijuana users had a 28% higher rate of hospitalization due to injuries than non-users; among women, the increase was 37%; namely that accidents are the number one health hazard from marijuana use.

Curiously, men who used marijuana more frequently (>1x per week) had a lower injury rate than those who used it only occasionally (risk ratios 1.36 and 2.00 respectively). For women, risks increased with frequency of use. However, in the case of motor vehicle accidents, frequent use of marijuana (>1x per week) was associated with a greater than two-fold increase in injuries in both men and women (2.47 and 2.18 respectively).

The Kaiser study also found a significantly higher rate of injuries due to assaults in males (risk ratio 1.90), a result which is difficult to explain as due to marijuana impairment. Like other drug users, marijuana users are known to have a higher risk preference than the general population, and may therefore be more likely to find themselves in dangerous situations.

Sure its not a big amount but what if its your friend or neighbor who was the one high while driving that night that hurt or killed one of your family members ?

But if you're behind the wheel and you kill or paralyze my family and I find you

Theres gonna be hell to pay

http://www.iamthewitness.com/DarylBr...eenUpdate.html
STOP THE VIOLENCE FOR THE KIDS

alcohol vs marijuana

I don't have time to read all the reefer madness style stuff in the above post, not to mention check the articles cited to make sure he's playing fair with statistics. The important point is that even if every last part of it was true (not), cannabis still wouldn't begin to compare with alcohol as a threat to life and limb. Alcohol supremacism is as stupid as it is immoral. Fighting violence by forcing people to use alcohol instead of marijuana? I hear ya.

response to alchohol vs marijuana

i agree. if anything there should be prohibition of alchohol and legalization of marijuana. think about the economy!
and to the other guy with the comment "thc is very potent"
you sir, are a fucking ass. i realize your information is probably sourced and whatever but really youre just stupid. youre beleiving everything you read from official sources and shit. youve clearly never smoked. AS ADDICTIVE AS CRACK?! get the fuck out of here. MARIJUANA BEING ONE OF THE MOST POTENT AMONG PSYCHOACTIVES? PLEASE. RUBBISH. god youre stupid. ever heard of dimethyl tryptamine or LSD or psilocybin mushrooms? and you call weed a psychoactive, even if it technically is - one of the most potent? i wish i could see you as i would spit in your face.

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