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Medical Marijuana Cruises Through Conn. Judiciary Panel

  1. torachi
    In a year when state lawmakers are looking for all the pain relief they can get, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s medical marijuana bill had relatively little trouble making it through the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

    Opponents tried to apply some legislative herbicide to the bill in the form of an amendment to require medical marijuana to be sold only through pharmacies and to have all medical marijuana in Connecticut grown at the University of Connecticut. Either proposal would probably have killed the measure, since pharmacists and UConn are both adamantly fearful of getting on the wrong side of federal anti-marijuana laws, but the amendment was voted down 27-10.

    Critics of the bill trotted out the same arguments they’ve been using for years: that it would “send the wrong message” to young people; that it conflicts with federal law; that it would turn patients seeking pain relief into criminals.

    State Rep. Al Adinolfi, a Cheshire Republican, offered a new twist to the anti-medical marijuana argument. He told a story about a friend of his family who had skin cancer and decided to smoke pot to relieve his pain. “He kept on smoking marijuana,” said Adinolfi, “and marijuana kept him going.”

    Adinolfi’s tale then took a turn toward the macabre, as he described how the man’s “ear fell off” because the marijuana allegedly made him feel so good that he failed to get proper treatment for his cancer. “Because he failed to go for treatment... he died,” claimed Adinolfi. “The marijuana helped him die.”

    It wasn’t clear exactly what impact Adinolfi’s interesting story had on the committee, but it could have contributed to the lopsided vote in favor of the medical marijuana bill.

    The medical pot legislation is listed as being part of the governor’s budget package, so it may need to go through one of the General Assembly’s budget committees before it comes up for votes in the state House and Senate. The rest of Malloy's budget plan, which aims to solve Connecticut's nasty $3.5 billion budget crisis, appears to be far more unpopular than his marijuana bills.

    Legislative odds-makers are betting this bill will end up on Malloy’s desk for him to sign, largely because an identical measure passed the General Assembly two years ago. That legislation was vetoed by Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

    This time around, Malloy proposed both this bill and another to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and promised to sign both if passed by lawmakers.

    The bill would allow a patient with a doctor’s prescription for marijuana to grow up to four pot plants indoors for their personal use.

    Law enforcement officials acknowledge that no one is being arrested or prosecuted now in Connecticut for the medical use of marijuana, but the bill’s supporters say legalizing its use would ease the minds of patients and their caregivers.

    By Gregory B. Hladky
    Tuesday, April 05, 2011 3:35pm



  1. kailey_elise
    Whee! Movin' on to Step 2!

    I'd love to see medical Cannabis legal in all of New England, that would be a lovely sight before I die. :)

  2. torachi
    Those that spend time in Conn would like the thank the good people of Mass for leading the way. :vibes:

    The mugwump is especially excited as decriminalization of less than an ounce is up for debate right now in Conn. He is almost obsessive with taking care of his body and a terrible liar so probably won't be getting medical, but this should be a bright green glowing light for unprescribed possession in the upcoming months.

    Right now its up to a year in jail and/or a $1000 fine. :s yikes.
  3. torachi
    A bill that would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana advanced Tuesday with the public health committee's 22-4 vote to send it on to the state Senate.

    Although the bill passed by a wide margin, some lawmakers who voted in favor of it said they weren't entirely happy with the measure's wording. The Senate's vote on the bill has not been scheduled.

    Under the proposed legislation, people with a written certification from their physician could legally possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to four marijuana plants no more than 4 feet high. To qualify, the patient would need to be certified as having a debilitating medical condition such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis.

    Several committee members said they were concerned that the bill doesn't have any provisions as to how patients would get marijuana seeds in the first place. The same concern was brought up last month at a public hearing before the judiciary committee, which also voted to advance the bill. At the time, supporters of the bill said the wording would be modified by the time it comes for a vote by the General Assembly.

    "I'm optimistic that that will happen," said Rep. Jason Perillo, R-Shelton. He voted for the bill Tuesday, but said he would vote against it in the General Assembly if a revised version did not address that concern.

    Rep. Dan Carter, R-Bethel, said there were still questions about whether medical marijuana "is the way we want to go." He also said that the bill would circumvent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which plays a valuable role in researching those questions.

    "On the other hand, the FDA can be behind the times," Carter said, adding that he supported advancing the bill to the Senate, partly for the sake of debate.

    Among those voting against the measure was Rep. Tim Ackert, R-Coventry, who said "he has been struggling with this bill." His wife is a cancer survivor who has to deal with pain every day, he said, and although she wouldn't consider using marijuana, he could understand why others suffering would want to use it.

    The problem with the bill, Ackert said, was the matter of how patients would obtain marijuana. Although the bill would allow patients to grow their own marijuana, he said, many of those in need of it might not be in the condition to do so.

    Laws allowing medical marijuana exist in 15 states and Washington, D.C.

    The Hartford Courant
    6:21 p.m. EDT, May 3, 2011


  4. Balzafire
    Connecticut Senate Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana

    [imgl=white]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=20614&stc=1&d=1307328328[/imgl]The Connecticut Senate has passed a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill now goes to the state House.

    The measure passed on Saturday after Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman broke an 18-to-18 tie vote. The bill now moves to the Connecticut House of Representatives for final action, report Susan Haigh and Cory Ziman for the Associated Press.

    The legislation will help young people arrested for marijuana possession to avoid a criminal record that could hurt their employment or educational opportunities, according to proponents of the bill.

    Opponents, predictably, claimed it would "send the wrong message," of course not bothering to mention what sort of message it sends when you ruin people's lives over a non-toxic plant.

    Under the decrim bill, possession of less than half an ounce of cannabis would no longer be a misdemeanor, but instead would result in a $150 fine for first offense, and ranging from $200 to $500 for subsequent offenses.

    Those under 21 years old would also face a 60-day suspension of their driver's license.

    It seems the politicians of Connecticut may be finally taking notice of the people.

    In a Quinnipiac poll taken in March, Connecticut voters supported marijuana decriminalization by a 2-to-1 margin, with support trending upward.

    Decrim was supported by 65 percent, with 32 percent opposed. That's up seven points in just a year, comparted with the Quinnipiac poll from March 2010.

    Decrim was supported by every demographic, with even 53 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of voters older than 64 supporting it. Support among Democrats was at 70 percent, as was support among voters 18 to 34 years old.

    By Steve Elliott
    June 4, 2011

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