Allen St. Pierre/NORML
After a raucous debate last night that lasted longer than anticipated, the Connecticut senate passed a medical cannabis bill approved by the House earlier in the session that will now head to Governor Dannel Malloy’s willing pen for signature.
With Connecticut passing a medical cannabis bill, approximately one third of the US population now resides in a state that has decided to act in favor of it’s citizens’ will, as compared to the remarkably recalcitrant federal government, which, moronically, still insists cannabis is a dangerous ‘narcotic’ and has no accepted medical value what so ever.
Congratulations to Connecticut NORML and it’s coordinator Erik Williams for leading the charge to write and pass this important and affirming legislation (Erik and company had previously worked the legislature hard in 2011 to pass cannabis decriminalization laws)!
“Today is a day of hope, compassion and dignity and I thank all of the legislators who worked hard on this legislation and who voted to pass this bill,” said Erik Williams, Executive Director of Connecticut NORML. “I am so happy for all the patients who will have another medicinal option to discuss with their doctor and for all of those currently suffering with debilitating conditions who will no longer suffer the indignity of being sick and a criminal.”
The statewide efforts of Connecticut NORML resulted in tens of thousands of phone calls, emails, patient and legislator meetings, and letters to legislators. “Patients and doctors told their stories and asked legislators to tell them ‘No, you haven’t suffered enough,’” said Williams. “Many others stressed that this bill did medical marijuana the correct way and that Connecticut had an opportunity to be a leader in America on this issue. Our strategy and dedication has obviously paid off.”
Connecticut’s bill creates guidelines and regulations for cultivation centers and dispensaries.
Read more about Connecticut’s new medical cannabis law here.
The New England clean sweep may happen this year with the New Hampshire legislature possibly overriding the Governor’s oft veto of their medical cannabis bills next week. In Massachusetts, this November voters are expected to approve by a large margin a medical cannabis legalization initiative (in 2008 Massachusetts voters approved a decriminalization initiative by a whopping sixty five percent).
From west to east, the states with legal protections for lawful medical cannabis patients are: Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, Michigan, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine (as well as the District of Columbia).