Cannabis News DrugSense
  Rell Vetoes Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on June 19, 2007 at 14:27:20 PT
By The Associated Press  
Source: Associated Press 

medical Hartford, CT -- Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have legalized medicinal marijuana, acknowledging she struggled with the decision.

"I am not unfamiliar with the incredible pain and heartbreak associated with battling cancer," Rell, a Republican, wrote in her veto letter. "I have spoken and met with dozens of people on this issue, all of whom have presented their positions passionately and articulately."

But Rell, a cancer survivor, said she is concerned that the legislation sends the wrong message about drug use to Connecticut youth, and also does not spell out where patients and their caregivers would obtain marijuana plants.

"There are no pharmacies, storefronts or mail order catalogs where patients or caregivers can legally purchase marijuana plants and seeds," she said. "I am troubled by the fact that, in essence, this bill forces law-abiding citizens to seek out drug dealers to make their marijuana purchases."

Rell said she is also concerned that the bill is not limited to terminally ill patients.

The bill won final bipartisan legislative approval earlier this month, capping a five-year struggle that pitted broader patients' rights against concerns of easier access to an illicit drug. TV talk show host Montel Williams, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, came to the state Capitol to urge support for the bill. He said he uses marijuana in various forms to help alleviate intense pain and debilitating symptoms.

The legislation would have allowed residents older than 18 with specific medical conditions diagnosed by a physician to cultivate and use marijuana to relieve the draining symptoms of diseases such as cancer and MS. Patients with written certification from their physicians would have to register with the Department of Consumer Protection.

Lorenzo Jones, executive director of A Better Way Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supported the legislation, said Tuesday he had not known Rell would veto the bill. The organization expected to issue a formal response later Tuesday, he said.

According to the national Marijuana Policy Project, 12 states allow patients to use marijuana despite federal laws against it. A 13th 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 prescribe marijuana can be sent to prison and risk having their medical licenses revoked.

Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Published: June 19, 2007
Copyright: 2007 Associated Press

Related Articles:

Medical Marijuana Bill in Rell's Hand
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23036.shtml

Medical Marijuana Bill Wins OK
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23030.shtml

Cannabis Measure Passes Senate
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23029.shtml


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Comment #18 posted by FoM on June 20, 2007 at 11:21:16 PT
Sam
What taxes has Bush cut for the lower income people and I mean under $200,000 a year salary?

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #17 posted by FoM on June 20, 2007 at 11:13:00 PT
Sam
I know what you mean. War spending to me is wrong because I can't see war as a way to fix the differences in the world. Obama said in one of his town meetings when asked why can't we afford universal health care when we can find the money to invade and occupy Iraq. Obama said we borrow the money for war from China. I think I am quoting him right. China must own us if that is so because if a person owns a home and doesn't pay the mortgage payment they will be foreclosed on. I wonder if China can call the money do if we try to corner China on anything?

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #16 posted by museman on June 20, 2007 at 11:01:59 PT
to all govs
As actual, legal, moral, ethical, and constitutional members, with supreme political authority granted by the precepts of all American law, of the real US Government, we hereby veto your exclusive powers, and declare them null and void.

How dare you presume to such authority? May God have mercy on your soul for your blasphemous lives.

The People

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #15 posted by Sam Adams on June 20, 2007 at 10:24:50 PT
Bush & taxes
FOM I just wanted to point out that Bush has cut some taxes for today, but that is really meaningless. If you cut taxes and raise spending throught the roof, you're just cutting taxes on today's citizens, while tomorrow's citizens will have to pay the debt PLUS interest.

Most people aren't even aware that a large chunk of every federal tax dollar you pay is going to interest payments on the national debt. That is absurd. It's a direct handout to the banking industry. The federal government should never be allowed to run a deficit.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #14 posted by afterburner on June 19, 2007 at 21:11:55 PT
FoM RE Bob Barr
agreed

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #13 posted by FoM on June 19, 2007 at 20:44:24 PT
afterburner
Yes, we have made it safer for them to speak out. I don't think I will ever believe Bob Barr though. I remember how he treated Cheryl and I will never forget it. What he did to the D.C. vote was terrible. He would have to do something really impressive for me to think that his motives are honest. Sleeping with the enemy is why I don't like politics.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #12 posted by The GCW on June 19, 2007 at 20:29:41 PT
E_Johnson,
You goatta couple o' bull's-eyes.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #11 posted by afterburner on June 19, 2007 at 20:23:11 PT
If We Have Accomplished Nothing Else...
We have made it safer for politicians (like Bob Barr and Mayor Bloomberg) to champion cannabis reform without the fear that everyone else will think they are soft on crime. It's a health issue, not a crime issue. We are winning that perception in the minds and hearts of the voters. That perception is slowly dawning on the more open-minded and/or compassionate politicians.

Of course, we have done lots more.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by FoM on June 19, 2007 at 19:47:35 PT
Just a Note
It isn't on Google's front page now but here is the link. I am not a fan of Bloomberg but he admitted to smoking and enjoying marijuana in the past.

http://www.point-spreads.com/content/view/2052/2/

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 19, 2007 at 19:15:15 PT
Bloomberg and NORML Ad
I don't know how long the front page of Google will stay the same but next to a NYT's article on Bloomberg there is one of the posters from NORML's ad.

http://news.google.com/news?ned=us

Mayor Bloomberg and NORML

http://www.freedomtoexhale.com/ad.htm



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 19, 2007 at 17:32:01 PT
Expanded Associated Press Article
Rell Vetoes Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana

***

By Susan Haigh, Associated Press Writer

June 19, 2007

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have allowed people with certain serious illnesses to use marijuana to ease their symptoms, saying it was fraught with problems and sent a mixed message to children.

The veto is seen as a near-fatal blow for an issue debated at the Capitol for the past five years, pitting broader patients' rights against concerns of legalized access to an illicit drug. Twelve states allow patients to use marijuana despite federal laws against it.

"I think this is a big step backward," said state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Somers, a widow who risked arrest more than 20 years ago to obtain marijuana for her husband while he struggled with bone cancer.

Unless a compromise can be reached next year, such as limiting medical marijuana to only terminally ill patients, Bacchiochi said she doesn't see the legislation going forward "unless there is a new governor."

The bill would have allowed people older than 18 with specific medical conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS, to grow and use four marijuana plants after getting written permission from a doctor and registering with the state.

Rell, a cancer survivor, said she struggled over whether to sign the bill.

"I am not unfamiliar with the incredible pain and heartbreak associated with battling cancer," she said. "I have spoken and met with dozens of people on this issue, all of whom have presented their positions passionately and articulately."

But she said the legislation did not address numerous complications, such as where patients and their caregivers would obtain the marijuana plants.

"There are no pharmacies, storefronts or mail order catalogs where patients or caregivers can legally purchase marijuana plants and seeds," she said. "I am troubled by the fact that, in essence, this bill forces law-abiding citizens to seek out drug dealers to make their marijuana purchases."

Rell said there is also nothing in the bill about whether qualified patients and their caregivers would be monitored to make sure the drug is being used properly.

Rep. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, who waged an hours-long debate against the bill in the House of Representatives, thanked Rell for taking the health and welfare of Connecticut residents into consideration when she decided to veto the bill.

"She is a hero to me and to so many others today," Boucher said.

Bacchiochi said she understands Rell's concerns. But she hopes that if more states like Connecticut pass such laws _ despite lingering questions about how a medical marijuana program would work _ the federal government will ultimately be forced to address the issue.

"I'm willing to bite the bullet and let's do this and move forward and make the change on the federal level," she said.

This year's bill won final, bipartisan legislative approval earlier this month. TV talk show host Montel Williams, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, came to the state Capitol to urge support for the bill. He said he uses marijuana in various forms to help alleviate intense pain and debilitating symptoms.

Proponents from the Drug Policy Alliance and A Better Way Foundation said they were particularly disappointed with Rell's veto because the bill had passed the Senate by a vote of 23-13 after clearing the House of Representatives by an 89-58 vote weeks earlier. They also pointed to a 2004 University of Connecticut poll that found 83 percent of Connecticut residents support the medical use of marijuana.

Joshua Warren, 32, of Wilton, who suffers from chronic neurological Lyme disease, said he did not ask for his medical condition or the pain he endures.

"If Governor Rell had any compassion for people like me who are suffering with horrible pain and other debilitating illnesses, she would have signed this bill," he said.

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 prescribe marijuana can be sent to prison and risk having their medical licenses revoked.

According to the national Marijuana Policy Project, 12 states allow patients to use marijuana despite federal laws against it. A 13th state, Maryland, protects patients from jail but not arrest.

Copyright: 2007 Associated Press

URL: http://tinyurl.com/2x8qgm

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 19, 2007 at 17:14:00 PT
Sam
As you know my experience with politics is limited but all I have ever seen come out of the Republican Party is unbelievable spending and tax cuts for those who make over $200,000 a year. War appears very high on their list because it makes money for some companies that make the implements of destruction they need to fight wars.

Yes and they are controlled by the religious right. They make laws on what they think is immoral and forget what really is immoral. That's really wrong.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on June 19, 2007 at 16:45:52 PT
too bad
So unfortunate - people in the Northeast that vote Republican usually do it out of a desire for lower taxes and smaller government. Especially governors, many voters are led to believe that Republican governor will keep a Democratic legislature from raising taxes.

But they're sadly mistaken. That is the platform of the Libertarian Party, not the Republican Party. When you vote Republican in this country, you're voting fundamentalist moralists into power as well. And you're voting not for a small government, but for BIG government.

George Bush, the Republican-in-chief, has increased the size of the government more than any President since LBJ.

And don't think that Governor Rell hasn't heard from Bush and the RNC lately.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 19, 2007 at 16:26:40 PT
Off Topic: Mayor Bloomberg
Mayor Bloomberg left the Republican Party.

It seems the Republicans are falling apart at the seams. Farm Aid is in New York this September and Willie Nelson and Mayor Bloomberg were kidding about marijuana I read in an article. This is getting interesting.

Mayor Bloomberg and NORML

http://www.freedomtoexhale.com/ad.htm

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 19, 2007 at 16:17:41 PT
My bad. Thought we had the votes to override.
from the Courant article on this -

"The Senate passed the measure, 23-13, and House approved it, 89-58. Overriding a veto requires 24 votes in the Senate and 101 in the House."

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 19, 2007 at 15:52:31 PT
Gov. Rell must believe the impaired memory myth.
That is the myth that voters won't remember that you betrayed their wishes come election time, especially if you can get the legislature to do what you consider the dirty work by overriding your veto.

May the voters of Conn. remember to remind Gov. Rell that you can have your cake and choke on it, too.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on June 19, 2007 at 14:44:17 PT
So what you've really done, Ms. Rell
You've handed the moral high ground to the drug dealers, in essence, because they aren't going to let the patients down as badly as you just have.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on June 19, 2007 at 14:42:44 PT
She's not thinking very clearly I'm afraid
""There are no pharmacies, storefronts or mail order catalogs where patients or caregivers can legally purchase marijuana plants and seeds," she said. "I am troubled by the fact that, in essence, this bill forces law-abiding citizens to seek out drug dealers to make their marijuana purchases.""

But that's what they're doing now, my dear.

So your veto is only changing one thing -- you're going to retain your right to look the other way and pretend it isn't happening.

So this is about you, and your comfort level, and it's not really out of consideration for anyone else.

[ Post Comment ]


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