Boucher Relieved By Marijuana Bill 

Boucher Relieved By Marijuana Bill 
Posted by CN Staff on June 21, 2007 at 19:01:41 PT
By Jared Newman
Source: Wilton Villager
Wilton, CT -- When the state House of Representatives was discussing a bill that would allow medical use of marijuana, Rep. Toni Boucher, R-143, argued against it for hours, reading from over 100 pages of her own research. Eventually she had to cut herself off, lest she lose votes from people who already agreed with her."I had another four or five hours in me," she said in an interview.
Despite Boucher's arguments, the bill passed through the House and the Senate, but Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed the bill Tuesday, and now Boucher said she is feeling "much better." She has been fighting the issue since it was first raised by a fellow congresswoman four years ago, and over that time she said she's developed a personal connection to it.It started with an introduction to the Norwalk-based Courage to Speak Foundation, a drug-free advocacy group. Boucher was touched by the story of Ginger Katz, who lost her son to a drug overdose. She's been collecting similar stories since then."I have to be a voice for some of these people that really are not strong enough to come forward," she said.Boucher fears legalizing marijuana for medical purposes could lead to looser drug policies overall, which she said would send the wrong message to children. She's not opposed to terminally ill patients using marijuana to ease their pain, as long as they're getting controlled doses and they're not smoking it.Among her pile of research is a study by Yale University that found increased psychotic behavior in healthy people who used marijuana, and another from Cambridge University Press that said 10 percent of marijuana users become addicted. Use of the drug by patients who suffer debilitating illnesses could open the door to these health problems, Boucher said.Those who support medical marijuana don't always deny the health risks, but want to make the drug available for people who haven't had success with other medication."The issue here was never whether or not marijuana was the most healthy choice," said Lorenzo Jones, executive director of Hartford-based A Better Way Foundation, a group that fought for the Connecticut bill. "The issue here was whether marijuana worked for some people. It was the last resort after everything else had been tried for a very small group of people."Jones also chafed at the idea that approving medical marijuana use sends a bad message. He touts a 2004 survey of California youths that found their marijuana decreased since medical marijuana was permitted there in 1996."It creates this new space to talk about marijuana in a different way," Jones said.Boucher is also concerned with how medical marijuana would stay out of the hands of healthy people. Wilton Police Chief Edward Kulhawik said he spoke to Boucher several weeks ago about the issue, and he felt that the wording of the Connecticut bill would open a "Pandora's Box" of enforcement problems.In addition to the oft-stated argument that the ill would have to get marijuana illegally, Kulhawik said healthy people who possess marijuana could avoid prosecution if they are "in the realm" of a patient who uses the drug."Obviously I'm not against helping people that are ill," he said, "but just the way the whole public act was worded, I felt it would become a law enforcement nightmare with respect to regulating this."At its core, the debate was over whether the bill should have been passed warts and all, or whether the federal and state governments should work out the legal and medical kinks.Rell ultimately chose the latter. "I completely sympathize with the well-intentioned goal of alleviating pain and suffering," she said in a statement, "but legal alternatives are available, the bill forces law abiding citizens to seek out drug dealers to make a purchase, and there is no provision for monitoring use or proof of its effectiveness." Source: Wilton Villager (CT)Author: Jared NewmanPublished: Thursday, June 21, 2007Copyright: 2007 The HourEmail: letters thehour.comWebsite: Articles:Veto Lacks Compassion Sides See Hope In Marijuana Debate
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Comment #3 posted by Max Flowers on June 22, 2007 at 10:16:44 PT
These people are amazing
They have this endless energy for the task of telling you and me and everyone what we can do with our own lives and bodies! They are meddling, interfering, disgusting busy-bodies who don't have enough of a life of their own to stop worrying about everyone else's. They fundamentally misunderstand their job, which is to bring things to citizens' lives that might help (things like roads and schools)---not spend tons of time and money trying to stop people from doing things privately that aren't hurting anyone else. Government has become so perverted that I fear it may never be restored to its proper, VERY LIMITED function. 
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Comment #2 posted by thestales on June 22, 2007 at 06:59:50 PT
4-5 hours....HA!
I got another 4 or 5 DAYS left in me....bring your illogical argument and I will shoot it down with one question.What if there was no money in it for anyone?Drug lords, Big Pharm, the Prision industrial complex, free up law enforcement to do their jobs, and Plenty of resouces left for treatment and education.Their solution, more of the same gets you, well, more of the same. What a joke!!! 4-5 hours of lies and skewed information.
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Comment #1 posted by mai_bong_city on June 21, 2007 at 22:38:33 PT
i'd go head-to-head with her
in a heartbeat. i got a good ten hours' worth in me, what say, toni??
fitting, doesn't boucher mean big mouth in french?
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