Medical Marijuana Legalized in Connecticut for ‘Debilitating Medical Conditions’
Connecticut became the 17th US state to legalize medical marijuana on May 31, 2012 when Democratic Governor Malloy signed H.B. 5389 authorizing the medical use of cannabis for “debilitating medical conditions.”
The list of approved “debilitating medical conditions” includes: “cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, posttraumatic stress disorder” or any other medical condition or disease approved by the Department of Consumer Protection.
The Connecticut House approved the measure on Apr. 25 by a 96-51 vote. The state Senate passed the bill on May 5 by a 21-13 vote. It was given its Public Act 12-55 number on May 11, and then the 23-page Act was signed by Governor Malloy on Thursday May 31. Connecticut joins 16 other states that have legalized medical marijuana.
In a statement issued on June 1 from the Governor’s office, Malloy was quoted as having said: “For years, we’ve heard from so many patients with chronic diseases who undergo treatments like chemotherapy or radiation and are denied the palliative benefits that medical marijuana would provide. With careful regulation and safeguards, this law will allow a doctor and a patient to decide what is in that patient’s best interest.”
The state’s medical marijuana program will be run through the Department of Consumer Protection which will also determine the number of approved dispensaries, the fee for registration in the new state program, and the specific amount constituting an allowable “one-month supply.”
“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,” Governor Malloy said. “In my opinion, such efforts run counter to federal law. Under this law, 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.”
Seven states currently have pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana. The federal government considers marijuana an illegal Schedule I drug with “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “a high potential for abuse.”
“Gov. Malloy Signs Legislation Providing Relief to Some Patients with Chronic, Debilitating Medical Conditions,” www.governor.ct.gov, June 1, 2012
“Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill,” www.nbcconnecticut.com, June 1, 2012