Senate OKs Medical Use of Marijuana

Senate OKs Medical Use of Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on June 05, 2005 at 09:53:34 PT
By Tobin A. Coleman, Staff Writer
Source: Stamford Advocate
Hartford, Conn. -- The state Senate early yesterday passed a bill that would legalize the medical use of marijuana in Connecticut.The bill was introduced by state Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee. It would allow those who are suffering from debilitating medical conditions to obtain prescriptions for the drug.
Patients would be allowed to grow and possess marijuana in small amounts and smoke or ingest it only when alone or in the presence of adults.The bill passed 19-15 after hours of debate just before the Senate adjourned at 12:35 a.m. It now heads to the House, but time could run out for it. Last night, House Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, said he has "already told supporters I'm worried about the time" for debate on the bill before the legislative session ends at midnight Wednesday."There are individuals in the state of Connecticut who could benefit dramatically from the medical use of marijuana," McDonald told the Senate. He said the bill was not an attempt to legalize marijuana for recreational use."Anyone who uses marijuana because it's cool or fun or keeps up with their friends is sadly mistaken," McDonald said. "Like any drug it can be misused. And if you misuse marijuana under this legislation you will be prosecuted."Testimony from medical professionals at public hearings said the drug has been found to reduce nausea and restore appetite loss resulting from radiation and chemotherapy for cancer; reduce seizures over time for epilepsy patients; and ease symptoms of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage and wasting syndrome, among other maladies.The bill would allow someone with a doctor's certification to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and to grow up to four plants no higher than four feet tall. A designated caregiver would be allowed to help. The drug could not be ingested in the presence of anyone under the age of 18.Only people with certain illnesses who are in a debilitated condition could ask their doctors to certify their need to use the drug.State Sen. Judith Freedman, R-Westport, who also represents much of New Canaan, led opposition to the bill.Freedman proposed five amendments, including allowing only terminally ill people to use the drug and limiting the growing of marijuana to a secure facility operated by the state Department of Agriculture."I don't think that by allowing this in the household we're doing anyone any good," Freedman said, raising concern that despite the law's provisions, children might be exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke.She also questioned where people would grow the plants, suggesting that some senior citizens living in multifamily housing complexes might only have their bathrooms available."I believe it's the wrong track. I believe it's the wrong time," Freedman said.State Sen. George "Doc" Gunther, R-Stratford, a retired homeopathic physician, said the bill is a way for those who favor decriminalizing marijuana to get "one step closer to legalizing marijuana. Don't kid yourself."Dennis Schain, a spokesman for Gov. M. Jodi Rell, said she would give the bill due consideration if it passes the House. Note: Time may run out for bill.Source: Stamford Advocate, The (CT)Author: Tobin A. Coleman, Staff WriterPublished: June 5, 2005Copyright: 2005 Southern Connecticut Newspaper, Inc.Contact: letters.advocate scni.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Takes Up Medical Marijuana Legislation Support - Hartford Advocate Marijuana Bill Returns
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Comment #8 posted by Max Flowers on June 05, 2005 at 19:12:05 PT
You asked: When the number of states reaches 50 % will that be enough?Given the nature of democracy, I would think it will take 51%.
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Comment #7 posted by jose melendez on June 05, 2005 at 17:41:13 PT
Captain Rat and the Hypocritical Drones
OT: Chief DEA rat leaves $inking federal $hip for $tate chee$e:
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on June 05, 2005 at 15:45:41 PT
To Angel
May those tired justices, come to terms with this world.They are not criminals, and those tired justices, must stand up and be recognized, for this world, in the light of democracy, the "we the people" are gathering, to remember the the fact, how modern human jurisprudence, has voted to end this prejudicial prohibitionist world.When the number of states reaches 50 % will that be enough?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 05, 2005 at 14:41:34 PT
Go Taylor!
You got it right! 
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Comment #4 posted by Taylor121 on June 05, 2005 at 14:34:22 PT
3 States on the Possible List for MMJ
Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.Next year likely New Mexico.I think that at least 1 will pass medical marijuana this year. I'm hoping all 3 will imagine the media buzz :)Remember, medical marijuana on the state level is important for several reasons:1) 99% of marijuana related arrests are made on the state level. Federalism prescribes that state and local police follow state and local law, not Federal law. Medical marijuana patients are 99-100% safer when states pass this legislation, even if Raich fails.2) Medical marijuana puts our cause in the news, puts a new face on the drug reform community, and projects the truth about cannabis's relative harm. Never understimate the power of medical marijuana.
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Comment #3 posted by global_warming on June 05, 2005 at 13:13:39 PT
Whats next?
The big apple, new york has Montel and I'm not sure what is happening in nj, the fatted lamb of prohibition is still cooking over the fires of all that money.It's been quiet from Missouri, maybe those door to door prohibitionists cannot keep up the pace too much in the new summer heat, I'm awaiting for some message from Illinois and Indiana, nature may be a splendor in the spring, but you have to keep an eye on those slicked down pro politicians, especially our good friends in Christ, Souder and Sensenbrenner, may they find the Light.Yep, partner, this aint no place for cowboys anymore, you can't shoot them aborigines anymore without someone tearing into your ass or some college ejeecated lawyer looking for your money.
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Comment #2 posted by global_warming on June 05, 2005 at 12:44:41 PT
That makes it 12 states so far
And the numbers are growing, greener with each new dawn.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 05, 2005 at 11:05:34 PT
ABC: High Court Could Decide on Medical Marijuana
Case Pits Federal Medical Marijuana Law Against State Laws Source: ABC News (US Web)Published: June 5, 2005 Copyright: 2005 ABC NewsCalif. -- Angel Raich suffers from nine different diseases, including an inoperable brain tumor. The 38-year-old mother from Oakland, Calif., says marijuana is the only thing that helps relieve her chronic pain. "If I didn't have cannabis in the morning, I couldn't move around," Raich said. "It's something that I have to have immediately. I have to have it every two hours." Her home state of California allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes with a doctor's orders. But under federal law, you can be sent to prison for smoking pot. 'We're Not Criminals'In October 2002, Raich and Diane Monson, another California woman who uses medical marijuana, sued the federal government to prevent them from interfering with a patient's right to use medical marijuana. "We've been labeled as criminals, and we're really not criminals," Raich said. "I'm a mom, I'm a good citizen. I'm just trying to stay alive, and I don't really think that's a crime." The Supreme Court could decide the case of "Raich v. Ashcroft" as early as this Monday. Court Decision Would Override State LawsWhen the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in this case months ago, most of the justices seemed unreceptive to an exemption for medical use. Citing federal law, Justice Antonin Scalia said it was "unlawful to possess it, period." Ten other states permit the use of medical marijuana. But those laws could be in jeopardy if the high court finds that marijuana can not be used for any reason. Angel Raich insists marijuana is the only drug that helps her and thousands of others. "If they side against me, it means that they would be giving me a death sentence," Raich said.
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