Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect Next Week
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Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect Next Week
Posted by CN Staff on September 23, 2012 at 19:38:38 PT
By Alison Shea, The Bulletin 
Source: Norwich Bulletin 
Connecticut -- Despite a change in the law coming next week to allow the medicinal use of marijuana by people who suffer from specific debilitating conditions, patients and advocates say it could be months before they have safe, legal access to the drug. The state Legislature voted last spring to create a registration and oversight system within the Department of Consumer Protection for medical marijuana use. The bill takes effect Oct. 1, a week from today. That day, the department wrote on its website, physicians will be able to begin certifying their patients, though a secure state registration system, as eligible to receive medicinal-grade marijuana grown by state-licensed pharmacists.
The department’s website also shows the state hasn’t yet made available application forms for individual pharmacists to build and maintain secure indoor growing facilities for medical marijuana. Changing the law “is a good first step for patients already using it for those debilitating conditions, but it’s just the first step in the process,” said Erik Williams, the executive director of Connecticut’s chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Williams said it would be a few months before patients can get marijuana through the state dispensary system, which limits the number of dispensaries statewide to 10. Kathy O’Callaghan, 53, of Scotland, has used marijuana to treat her multiple sclerosis since about 1994. The drug helps with her balance issues and severe pain, she said. “I’ve waited so long already. It will happen when it happens,” O’Callaghan said. “I just want a safe place to buy it, and to know that it is safe to ingest in one way or another.” Once she’s working with pharmacists instead of street dealers, O’Callaghan said she hopes edible forms will be available so she doesn’t have to smoke it. Her worries, she said, include that the medical-grade drug might be less effective than what’s peddled on the streets, and that the varieties grown by the legally mandated three to 10 growers might not include the one she uses to focus the euphoric effects on her body, and not her mind. “I don’t like to use the term ‘high,’ because that’s not what I’m looking for,” she said. “I just want my body to feel better.” Connecticut’s new marijuana law allows the medicinal use of marijuana for Connecticut residents 18 or older suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease, post-traumatic stress or cachexia (wasting syndrome). It limits the drug’s use in public places and in moving vehicles, and around children and teens. Seventeen other states, including Rhode Island, Vermont and New Jersey, also permit the medicinal use of marijuana. Connecticut’s laws, in naming specific ailments and limiting the place of use and number of dispensing pharmacists, are stricter than most, Williams said. Source: Norwich Bulletin (CT)Author: Alison Shea, The Bulletin Published: September 23, 2012Copyright: 2012 GateHouse Media, Inc.Contact: letters norwichbulletin.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on September 24, 2012 at 22:27:45 PT
The Gloves Are Off
Will the pharmacists cooperate with this law or like many doctors will they just make excuses and delay the patients' access?Only full legalization and descheduling will do.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on September 24, 2012 at 16:23:34 PT
there you go
complete co-op of medical marijuana. It's legal now... the only place you can buy it is Pharma, for the same price as black market. 
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