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Connecticut to Become 17th Medical Marijuana State

The Connecticut Senate gave final approval to a medical marijuana bill early Saturday morning, and Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said in a statement later that same day that he will sign it. The bill, House Bill 5389, passed the House last week.

Connecticut State House, Hartford (
Medical marijuana is already legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

The middle-of-the-night final vote came only after medical marijuana foe Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) filibustered for most of the 10 hours of debate. She fruitlessly introduced various amendments in a bid to derail it, but none of them passed.

Boucher mixed statistics and stories as she argued that marijuana isn't medicine, that illegal use among youth would expand, that licensed dispensaries are "little more than dope dealers with licenses," and that federal non-recognition of medical marijuana could expose anyone involved in it to civil or criminal liability. But hers was a decidedly minority view.

"We can probably find a study that will contradict every single study Senator Boucher has cited this evening," said Sen. Eric Coleman (D-Bloomfield) co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

The tightly crafted bill would allow patients with specified diseases and conditions to obtain a written certification from a physician allowing them to use medical marijuana. The marijuana would be grown indoors at one of no more than 10 licensed grows and sold at one of no more than 10 licensed dispensaries. It will be sold by specially trained pharmacists, who must be on staff at the dispensaries.

Gov. Malloy, whose office helped craft the law, said it was designed to avoid conflict with the federal government, which has been cracking down on medical marijuana distribution in states where it is more loosely regulated.

"We don't want Connecticut to follow the path pursued by some other states, which essentially would legalize marijuana for anyone willing to find the right doctor and get the right prescription. In my opinion, such efforts run counter to federal law. Under this proposal, however, the Department of Consumer Protection will be able to carefully regulate and monitor the medicinal use of this drug in order to avoid the problems encountered in some other states," he said in the Saturday statement.

"This legislation is about accomplishing one objective: providing relief to those with severe medical illnesses. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk."

Hartford, CT
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Mixed Feelings

While I am glad that the bill passed there are three huge problems with the bill. First of all it excludes patients whose condition is other than the listed conditions. Since my condition -- which qualified me in California -- is hypertension and this is not a condition listed I am unjustly cut out. Please do not tell me to ask the government to include my condition. I know they will never include it. It is wrong for the government to tell me I have the "wrong" illness. Secondly the federal government will try to prevent any dispensaries from opening. If no dispensaries open nobody will be able to get their medicine since there is no home growing allowed. Thirdly it is unjust not to allow home growing. I hate tightly written bills that exclude me and many other patients. I hate the implication that I am some kind of fraud if I ask for my medicine and have the "wrong" condition. I do support legalization for all adults -- non-medical legalization -- but please do not treat me as a fraud who has been caught and tell me to wait forever for a non-medical legalization that will either never happen or happen only long after I am dead. I have very mixed feelings about this law. I cannot celebrate. On the one hand I am happy something passed but on the other hand I am being unjustly excluded. My only solution is to move to the bay area in California and hope Obama doses not close all the dispensaries before I get there. California Is the only state that will allow me to have my medicine. All other states exclude me I am a legitimate patient not a fraud!

How do you know the

How do you know the "government" will never include your ailment if you haven't contacted anyone? This bill sets up an 8 doctor panel that WILL add additional ailments to the law. Twice a year they will have a public forum that will allow citizens to petition to have ailments added.

I agree with your comment on homegrowing, this should have been a provision included in the law.

How do you know the

How do you know the "government" will never include your ailment if you haven't contacted anyone? This bill sets up an 8 doctor panel that WILL add additional ailments to the law. Twice a year they will have a public forum that will allow citizens to petition to have ailments added.

I agree with your comment on homegrowing, this should have been a provision included in the law.

One state at a time, until the federal government wakes up.

The specifics of each states method of decriminalizing/medicalizing/legalizing/de-stigmatizing cannabis are only important for the time being. In the future, once the federal government has decided to treat cannabis like alcohol, the details of how it 'got done' won't seem very important.


So to all those who worry about how it gets done, stop your whining. Just get it done in your state, any way you can.

Authoritarian Democrats VS Authoritarian Republicans

Although I applaud the Connecticut legislature on the passage of a medical marijuana bill, the restrictions on which patient ailments qualify appear to be rather draconian. Why not make use of such aggregated resources as Granny Stormcrow's list of medical applications to apply instead?

Of course, these restrictions couldn't have anything to do with the fact that some major insurance companies call Connecticut their home, could they? Crony corporate socialism, aka fascism, seems to be the underlying agenda for both political parties, regardless of state. Between the 2 parties, the difference in authoritarianism appears to be only a matter of degree. (Look no further than such legislation as the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, and NDAA 2012 -- martial law / police state agendas, which garner wide support across party lines.) The USA is ready for, and in dire need of the ascension of a real libertarian 3rd party (really, a 2nd party) ASAP.

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