A bill which would legalize the production, distribution and use of marijuana as palliative for the chronically ill appears poised to become law in Connecticut.
The bill passed the Connecticut House on a 96-51 vote, with 79 Democrats joined by 17 Republicans supporting it, and 34 Republicans joined by 17 Democrats in opposing it, reports The Hour.
The Connecticut Senate is expected to approve the bill as well on Friday, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he will sign it if it clears the Senate, as expected.
The debate centered on mercy and compassion, the limits of medicine and concerns about abuse.
Opponents of medical marijuana in Connecticut have distributed a warning letter to state senators from U.S. Attorney David Fein, who wrote that while the Justice Department will not go after seriously ill patients who use marijuana in violation of federal law, it will still enforce federal laws against those who manufacture and distribute cannabis.
An overwhelming 68 percent of Connecticut voters support allowing adults to use marijuana for medical purposes with a doctor’s recommendation, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released in March. Only 27 percent oppose the plan.
“Medical marijuana is supported by Connecticut voters across the board,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.
The bill would license up to 10 growers and 10 dispensaries for the state. Patients would have to be at least 18 years old. Marijuana could not be consumed in a moving vehicle, on university property, in the workplace, in the presence of a minor or in any public place.
The bill would allow physicians to certify a medicinal need for cannabis by “recommending” marijuana, necessary because the federal Schedule I status of cannabis makes it unlawful for doctors to prescribe it.
One clueless amateur blog, Superchief, jumped the gun on April 26, breathlessly reporting “BREAKING NEWS: CONNECTICUT JUST LEGALIZED MEDICAL MARIJUANA,” and the article was widely shared on Facebook (more than 7,600 shares) by those who didn’t know any better.
It was also shared by some who should have known better, including prominent U.K. cannabis reform activist and right-wing politician Peter Reynolds of CLEAR (which is both a cannabis reform organization and a political party).
When I informed the twattish Reynolds of the erroneous nature of the information he shared, he didnt have the grace to admit his obvious mistake, claiming he was “merely sharing an opinion,” apparently not realizing that there’s no room for opinion on whether or not a law has been passed — it either has, or it hasn’t. (It most likely will be soon, though.)
|Peter Reynolds’ Facebook page|
|When one activist dared point out the error of Reynolds’ Facebook post, he was verbally abused by Reynolds’ family members — and Reynolds (farther down the thread) backed up the abuse, rather than retracting the erroneous story|