House Takes Up Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana

House Takes Up Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 23, 2007 at 12:33:10 PT
By  Susan Haigh, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Hartford,  Conn. -- The House of Representatives was debating legislation Wednesday that would legalize the medical use of marijuana for patients with debilitating illnesses. The debate was expected to last late into the afternoon, with one opponent filing about 50 amendments to the bill. It's unclear how many may ultimately be voted on.
Connecticut lawmakers have grappled with the issue for the last five years. Backers of the law say it's needed to legally protect people who try to obtain the illegal drug to help stem the draining effects of diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. Opponents say the proposal sends the wrong message about drugs to Connecticut's children and could exacerbate a patient's health problems. Some also claimed the bill still has many problems that haven't yet been addressed. "How do you get it?" asked House Minority Leader Lawrence J. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, referring to the marijuana seeds needed to grow the maximum 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." The legislation allows a doctor 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. The patient and the primary caregiver would be limited to growing no more than four marijuana plants, each having a maximum height of four feet, in an indoor, security facility. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, 11 states allow patients to use marijuana despite federal laws against it. A 12th state, Maryland, protects patients from jail but not arrest. Connecticut already has a medical marijuana law, one of the first in the nation. Under the 1981 law, a doctor can prescribe the illegal drug to relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy and eye pressure from glaucoma. But the law is unworkable because, under federal law, physicians who prescribes marijuana can be sent to prison and risk having their medical licenses revoked. Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Somers, who risked arrest more than 20 years ago to get marijuana for her husband, said she has heard from hundreds of residents who fear they will be arrested for buying marijuana for medical purposes. Her husband died of bone cancer. "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." A similar bill passed in the Senate in 2005, but died after House leaders failed to take it up for consideration. Copyright: 2007 Newsday Inc.Complete Title: House Takes Up Bill Legalizing Medical Use of MarijuanaSource: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Susan Haigh, Associated Press WriterPublished:  May 23, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project Nicastro Unhappy With Marijuana Bill Patients' Suffering with Access To Marijuana Bill on Shaky Legal Ground
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on May 24, 2007 at 08:27:19 PT
Are these legislators competent enough?????
"How do you get it?" asked House Minority Leader Lawrence J. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, referring to the marijuana seeds needed to grow the maximum 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."Hey, why not just mail order the seeds from Canada, the UK or the Netherlands or Spain??? Another idea would be for the State officials to lobby the Feds to supply seeds from the Federal IND program, where the Federal Govt. grows their own medical marijuana at the Univ. of Mississippi. The word is, they produce lots of seeds and stems.As for the opponent senator who added on 50 amendments in order to stall and obfuscate progress. He should probably be impeached. Perhaps he could be asked to resign.
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on May 23, 2007 at 22:14:23 PT
Vaporize It!
Legalize it
And don't criticize it
Legalize it
And I will vaporize it-In respectful memory of Peter Tosh
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on May 23, 2007 at 13:05:22 PT
middle class issue?
An interesting pattern is emerging - the legislatures in RI, VT, HI, and NM have passed medical MJ, while CT, NY, MA and NJ struggle and don't seem to do anything. Perhaps CT is the most disturbing, they've actually voted to approve it a few times & then it's killed mysteriously by "leadership"It makes me wonder if the more affluent states won't pass this, while the middle class states will. Maybe CT and NY are get a little to close the Big Pharm and all its millions.It's not just Big Pharm that profits from Big Pharms. It's also all the investment and private equity firms that profit off their investments. RI and VT are VERY middle-class dominated states, CT and NY are BIG money. Maybe the rich elite just don't like the idea of "the people" medicated themselves with the backyard garden instead of Mr. Pharmacist.YOUR medicine? drug deal. Our Medicine? magical green butterfly 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 23, 2007 at 12:44:57 PT
Rhode Island AP Article
House To Vote on Making Medical Marijuana Law PermanentMay 23, 2007PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- State lawmakers vote this afternoon on making the state's medical marijuana program permanent. Certain patients with cancer, AIDS and other debilitating illnesses are currently permitted under state law to smoke marijuana to ease their symptons.Bills pending in the General Assembly would eliminate a provision that would cause the program to end on June 30th.The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote at four this afternoon to make the program permanent. A Senate committee has also scheduled a vote.Gov. Carcieri has threatened to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.Copyright 2007 Associated PressURL:
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