Medical Marijuana Bill Clears Finance Committee

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On a day dedicated to the celebration of marijuana, a bill permitting the medical use of marijuana cleared a key legislative committee in Connecticut.

The measure survived several attempts to amend it before winning approval of the finance committee Friday afternoon on a vote of 36 to 15. It now goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill would allow patients to use marijuana prescribed by a doctor to ease the symptoms of a debilitating illness. Supporters say pot use would be tightly regulated. At a public hearing on the proposal earlier this year, patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other chronic diseases testified that using marijuana helps relieve their often unrelenting pain.

But Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, one of the loudest critics of the bill, said the dangers of allowing medical marijuana far outweigh the benefits.

She offered several amendments to soften the bill, including one that would have limited the use of medical marijuana to those with terminal illnesses.

\”This…is exactly the wrong message to our children,\’\’ Boucher said. \”While trying to help a small few…the costs to our families and children are so severe.\”

Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, a Republican from Glastonbury who is also a medical doctor, said he\’s knows all about the potential benefits of marijuana for ill patients.

\”Being a physician and taking care of [the] terminally ill, I am well aware of that there are indications for medical marijuana,\’\’ he said

But the cost to the state would be prohibitive, Srinivasan said. He questioned figures provided by the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis. OFA found that any costs associated with the bill, such as the hiring of additional drug control agents, would be offset by revenue gains through registration fees.

This is not the legislature\’s first attempt to pass such a bill. Lawmakers passed a medical marijuana bill in 2007, but Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed it. Last year, a similar bill had the backing of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy but failed to become law, although lawmakers did approve the decriminalization of a small amount of marijuana.

This year, legislators said, they changed the bill to quell lingering questions about how patients would obtain the drug.








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5 thoughts on “Medical Marijuana Bill Clears Finance Committee

  1. Steve

    “This…is exactly the wrong message to our children,” Boucher said. “While trying to help a small few…the costs to our families and children are so severe.”

    This is utter nonsense. More kids are hurt enforcing the asinine marijuana laws than by anyone using it. We can only hope these prohibitionists die off, quickly. Legalize it.

  2. Napoleon In Rags

    Alcohol is legal . Tobacco is legal . Pot is illegal . What is wrong with this picture ?
    Pot indeed can interfere with education and childhood development ; So can many other things .
    What drives most youth into substance abuse is unrelated stressors , and poor parenting . Well balanced and nurtured young people are just that .
    Let`s substitute alcohol for marijuana for an illustration … If little Betty is showing up for freshman class repetedly reeking of alcohol , somebody makes an effort to find out why Betty is using alcohol ; What is going on with Betty . If Peter shows up for class stoned , the police are called . Peter gets expelled behind ” Zero Tollerance ” Ghestopo rule , No questions asked . Both may be driven by similar forces elsewhere in their lives ; Yet , Peter is treated as a criminal , and a threat to student safty ; While Betty is treated as confused and lost .
    All this regardless of the fact that alcohol is the more harmful substance by any measure .
    Substance abuse is only but a symptom of other things going on in the user`s experience .
    Keeping Pot illegal doesn`t stop it`s use ; Only turns occasional users , and lost abusers into criminals who are down-trodden by the rest of society ( regardless of the 12 martini lunches they ingest themselves )
    THe war against pot is the biggest , misguided waste .

  3. Del D. Gomes

    This is a typical conservative response profered by viewpoints eminating from a small exit orafice. Marijuana compares more favorably to alcohol in every manner imaginable. However, that isn’t even the issue here. Irrespective of the “good” Doctor’s questionable motives, this bill is devoted to the unique easing of substantial suffering and controled by prescription (like any other drug). A politician and (even more) a physiscian having no interest in eliminating pain and needless suffering runs counter and is more useless to the core values they seemingly promote, while continuing to advances the illegal cottage industries. Remember the lessons of prohibition.

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