MMJ Bill Advances With Support From Dem Leaders 
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('MMJ Bill Advances With Support From Dem Leaders ');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

MMJ Bill Advances With Support From Dem Leaders 
Posted by CN Staff on February 26, 2011 at 06:59:19 PT
By William Weir, The Hartford Courant
Source: Hartford Courant 
Connecticut -- The state's lawmakers are again taking on the divisive issue of medical marijuana.The same bill that would allow the medicinal use of marijuana that Gov. Jodi M. Rell vetoed in 2007 is going through the legislative process this year. This time, it not only has the support of the current governor, Dannel P. Malloy, but it comes out of his office. The bill is co-sponsored by the four top Democratic leaders in the legislature, Sen. Donald E. Williams, Sen. Martin Looney, Rep. Christopher G. Donovan and Rep. Brendan Sharkey.
"An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana" is scheduled to go before the judiciary committee next month. Officials from the governor's office said its public hearing has a tentative date of March 14.If passed, the bill would mean that the state could not prosecute people for possession of marijuana if they have signed certification from their physician. To receive the certification, a person must have a debilitating medical condition. Conditions listed specifically in the bill include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.Michael Lawlor, undersecretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning, calls it a "common-sense law.""People who, after talking with their doctors, will know that this is OK under our criminal laws and that they don't have to worry about getting arrested," he said. Lawlor added that, as far as he knows, no one who has used marijuana in Connecticut for medicinal purposes has been prosecuted for possession.There are currently 15 states that have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana. Lawlor said that some of those states have run into problems in regulating the laws. The governor's bill is designed to avoid those problems, he said.A physician's certification is not the same as a prescription. A 1982 state law allows doctors to write prescriptions for marijuana, but it is ineffectual because federal laws prevent doctors from doing so. By the proposal's provisions, doctors can write certifications without fear of state or federal prosecution.Under the provisions, people with a physician's certification can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to four marijuana plants no more than 4 feet high. They could legally do so for up to one year after receiving the certification. The person's primary caregiver would also be free from prosecution. The bill would not allow the public use of marijuana.Lawlor said the wording of the bill is the same as the 2007 measure that Rell vetoed. That bill passed the Senate 32-13 and the House of Representatives 89-58."It passed with pretty significant margins in the House and Senate four years ago and there doesn't seem to be any less support for it," Lawlor said. "It seems to be a trend around the county and certainly in Connecticut. It think it's regrettable that the governor vetoed it last time."State Rep. Antonietta Boucher, R-Wilton, led the opposition in the House in 2007. Four years later, she said her opposition to the bill is even stronger."Medical science is exploding with new research on virtually a weekly basis, that proves the harmful effects of marijuana use," she said in an e-mail. Boucher said the research includes studies that say it harms the immune system, teenagers' brains and fetal growth."Someday we may even have a marijuana settlement as in tobacco if we decide to legalize it for medical purposes," she said.One of the criticisms of the bill in 2007 was that it made no provision for how holders of the certifications would obtain the seeds to grow the marijuana.Looney, a co-signer of the bill, said the urgency of allowing people who need medical marijuana calls for action now and refinements to the law could come later."That's perhaps something for off into the future," he said. "But for now, we're looking at a somewhat more limited objective." Source: Hartford Courant (CT)Author: William Weir, The Hartford Courant Published: February 26, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Hartford CourantContact: letters courant.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #1 posted by runruff on February 26, 2011 at 09:53:47 PT
Rell rhymes with Hell!
Rell, Rell, I remember her well,co-signed the sick to suffer in hell!Jodie Rell, has the smell of of shame all around her!Jodie Rell another prostitian under the spell power and wealth have her soul to sell 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment