Connecticut House Votes To Legalize Marijuana

Connecticut House Votes To Legalize Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 23, 2007 at 16:31:59 PT
By  The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Hartford,  Conn. -- The House of Representatives, after six hours of debate that touched on many lawmakers’ own experiences with debilitating illness, approved a bill Wednesday that would legalize the medical use of marijuana for certain patients. The bill passed on a 89-58 vote. It moves to the Senate, where a similar bill passed in 2005. That bill then failed in the House.
Rep. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, tried in vain to change the bill. She had filed about 50 amendments, but called only eight. They ranged from requiring the Department of Agriculture to set up a pilot program for medical marijuana patients to providing local police departments with the names of people using the drug for palliative purposes. "This should not be compared with other medications that doctors prescribe," said Boucher, who warned lawmakers they are embarking on "a dangerous direction." She voted against it. Connecticut lawmakers have grappled with the issue for the last five years. Supporters say it’s needed to legally protect people who try to obtain the illegal drug to help stem the draining effects of diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. "The message is simple: we have compassion for people who are suffering in this state," said Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Derby. But opponents said the proposal sends the wrong message about drugs to Connecticut’s children and could exacerbate a patient’s health problems. Some also claimed the bill still has many problems that haven’t yet been addressed. "How do you get it?" asked House Minority Leader Lawrence J. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, referring to the marijuana seeds needed to grow the maximum four plants allowed under the bill. "You’ve got to buy it. How do you buy it? As Rep. (Michael) Lawlor said, you’ve got to hit the streets folks — nickel bag, dime bag. You gotta make a drug deal, baby." The legislation allows a doctor to certify an adult patient’s use of marijuana after determining he or she has a debilitating condition and could potentially benefit from marijuana. Patients and their primary caregivers would then register with the state’s Department of Consumer Protection. The patient and the primary caregiver would be limited to growing no more than four plants, each having a maximum height of four feet, in an indoor, security facility. The House did amend the bill to prevent anyone convicted of possessing marijuana or dealing drugs from serving as a primary caregiver for a qualified patient. That amendment was proposed by Rep. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, a police officer, who ultimately voted against the legislation. According to the national Marijuana Policy Project, 11 states allow patients to use marijuana despite federal laws against it. A 12th 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 prescribes marijuana can be sent to prison and risk having their medical licenses revoked. Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Somers, who risked arrest more than 20 years ago to get marijuana for her husband, said she has heard from hundreds of residents who fear they will be arrested for buying marijuana for medical purposes. Her husband died of bone cancer. "Today, we have the opportunity to give relief to Connecticut residents who are sick, who are dying, who are wasting away, who are losing their quality of life," she said. "And we can tell those Connecticut residents that the state of Connecticut no longer will prosecute you." Note: Bill goes to Senate, which approved similar bill in 2005 Complete Title: Connecticut House Votes To Legalize Medical Use of Marijuana Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published:  May 23, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project House Takes Up Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana Nicastro Unhappy With Marijuana Bill Patients' Suffering with Access To Marijuana
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on May 24, 2007 at 10:29:18 PT
The "Power"....
The money. The control. The greed. They don't want to lose the power to take and use our income as they see fit.
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on May 24, 2007 at 10:26:38 PT
 "...their party is collapsing."
They have too much money backing them to collapse anytime soon. They do, I think, feel that someone is tugging on their "sceptre" and "crown". They don't want to lose their power to do all the stuff they like to do to everyone else.
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Comment #26 posted by whig on May 24, 2007 at 10:15:34 PT
Republicans are scared now, because their party is collapsing. The Democratic party may collapse too if they cave on the war.
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Comment #25 posted by whig on May 24, 2007 at 10:12:05 PT
See for yourself
There is truth and lies all around, and we see by the light what is where.
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on May 24, 2007 at 10:02:29 PT
Whig man.
Good to see you.
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on May 24, 2007 at 10:01:47 PT
I remember it well...
He was livid. Because I wasn't as fearful as he thought I should be.Even in the truly, most dangerous of situations and places, excess fearfulness can get a person, and perhaps those around him, in more peril than they would be if they managed to maintain a calm mind, in even, obviously, heinous situations. 
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Comment #22 posted by whig on May 24, 2007 at 10:01:03 PT
The sun is rising, now is the dawn of day. The sky is falling if you worship the darkness. So many creatures scurry into shadows to avoid the brightening light.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on May 24, 2007 at 09:56:08 PT
Some of you may remember that my Republican and I had a dust up recently about that very thing. Somehow, he had had a bad day or an overdose of Rush Limbaugh, or something and got really angry at me for not being as afraid as he'd like me to be.Damn!
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on May 24, 2007 at 09:53:49 PT
"On the other hand, several people died just today from side effects and/or toxicity and/or misuse of many of our FDA approved "safe" medications that doctors prescribe."After first hand experience with nearly being one of those statistics...I'm really uneasy at the thought of any new prescription and more than a little leery that an old helper might turn on me. They are poison. We know they are poison when we take them. We know that a little bit of poison can sometimes be helpful, very helpful. But the sweetest thing is something that can help and have, Oh My Lord, as it's only "bad" side effect, temporary euphoria. Euphoria? What's so bad about a little bit of euphoria? Joy and peace and rest are part of euphoria. Why would anyone deny it to anyone? From the Creator's hand to wait! A prohibitionist has snatched it and is telling God's child that he or she, and other prohibitionists know better than God, himself.Prohibitionists, give the people back what is rightfully theirs! How dare you?Prohibitionists are scoundrels, whether they fully realize it or not.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on May 24, 2007 at 09:49:06 PT
Chicken Little
Anytime I hear anyone telling me the sky is falling I won't listen. The sky might be falling but it's a control technic and I won't buy into that fear. Fear will make people march behind a person or party if they buy into it.I agree with this. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we might die.Time to live while we can.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on May 24, 2007 at 09:35:40 PT
From the article you posted, "Are we all running so scared?"Our "leaders" do want to keep us so scared, don't they....of everything? It's just sickening. "They" seem to want a nation of fearful, frightened, shivering cowards, that will turn to them and plead for them to lord it over them to take over their lives and "protect" them from all manner of scary stuff. Please. Please. Please. That's "cunning" of our system...and sick.
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Comment #17 posted by dongenero on May 24, 2007 at 08:31:05 PT
We're a.............................
steamroller baby!
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Comment #16 posted by fight_4_freedom on May 24, 2007 at 04:34:54 PT:
Detroit News
Pubdate: Thu, 24 May 2007
Source: Detroit News (MI)
Copyright: 2007 The Detroit News
Contact: letters
Author: Kim Kozlowski, The Detroit News
Cited: Coalition for Compassionate Care
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE INITIATIVE LAUNCHES IN MICH.An initiative that would allow seriously ill Michigan residents to 
use marijuana as a pain reliever without repercussions will be 
launched this week, The Coalition for Compassionate Care announced 
Wednesday.The Ferndale-based, grassroots group plans to collect 550,000 
signatures within six months for a citizen's initiative known as the 
Michigan Medicinal Marijuana Act. It would allow patients to grow and 
use small amounts of marijuana for relief from pain associated with 
cancer, multiple sclerosis and other diseases.If 304,101 signatures are validated, the initiative would go to the 
Michigan Legislature, according to Coalition for Compassionate Care 
Spokeswoman Dianne Byrum. The act would appear on the November 2008 
ballot if lawmakers reject or chose not to vote on it."This is a narrowly drafted initiative," Byrum said. "If you are 
going to use medicinal marijuana, it must be under a doctor's 
recommendation. Patients deserve to get relief from their terrible 
suffering without going to jail."Byrum was unaware whether anyone has been prosecuted in Michigan for 
using marijuana for medical purposes.Current Michigan law forbids marijuana use for any reason, but 12 
other states permit medicinal use by patients.There have been numerous legislative attempts to change Michigan's 
law in recent years, but they have gone nowhere, which is why the 
citizen's initiative is being launched, Byrum said.Since 2004, voters in five Michigan cities have passed ballot 
initiatives allowing for medicinal marijuana use, including Detroit, 
Ferndale, Flint, Ann Arbor and Traverse City.Detroiter Rochelle Lampkin uses medicinal marijuana to help ease the 
excruciating pain in her optic nerve, which is associated with her 
multiple sclerosis. She uses it occasionally and only needs a little 
to ease the pain."I don't abuse it," said Lampkin, 48. "It relaxes the optic nerve so 
it is not hurting in my eyes. It's a godsend."Residents interested in volunteering for the campaign can go to the 
coalition's Web site, 
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Comment #15 posted by bayou boy on May 24, 2007 at 03:23:52 PT:
Here Ye...Here Ye..
All in favor say "I"................yeas have it
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on May 23, 2007 at 23:25:37 PT
13 Original States, 13 Medical Cannabis States
According to NORML there are 13 states with a workable state medical marijuana law:California,
New Mexico,
Rhode Island,
Maryland United States of America was started with 13 states. And cannabis medicine was legal in all of them. The repeal of the federal prohibition on medical cannabis has reached the same number of states. And support is growing to include others. God bless America.
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Comment #13 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on May 23, 2007 at 22:33:11 PT
Lucky 13, won't it be?
However, we shouldn't count our buds before they bloom.But, I'm hoping were at 15 plus by year's end!
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 23, 2007 at 21:48:54 PT
You mentioned Sicko. Here's a trailer. I can't wait to see this movie.
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Comment #11 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 23, 2007 at 21:18:25 PT
moving forward
The pharmaceutical$ should start admitting defeat.Does anyone know if this is the 15th state to legalize?Perhaps 35 to go!
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Comment #10 posted by BGreen on May 23, 2007 at 21:17:24 PT
Well, the truth is in there somewhere
"This should not be compared with other medications that doctors prescribe," said Boucher, who warned lawmakers they are embarking on "a dangerous direction."That's right, cannabis can't be compared to other medications, because cannabis actually works AND has never killed anyone, ever, in thousands of years of use.On the other hand, several people died just today from side effects and/or toxicity and/or misuse of many of our FDA approved "safe" medications that doctors prescribe.The only danger in the lawmakers direction is to the profits of the pill peddlers who deal in legitimized poisoning and death of the masses."Sicko" isn't just a Michael Moore film, it actually describes the prohibitionist mindset and Rep. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, is in the running for poster child of that whole crazy brainwashed bunch of "sickos."The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on May 23, 2007 at 21:07:21 PT
common sense defeats zero-tolerance 
Sometimes common sense defeats zero-tolerance policiesby Kirt Graysonpublished May 23, 2007 going into a courthouse on business recently and was confronted by an overweight cop with a metal detector. It screamed out a warning, and I produced my key chain, which had a 1-inch long, nail-file type of point, and was informed I couldn’t bring that into the courthouse. At that point I returned a hard look, and told him in a stern voice, “Son, 55 years ago the U.S. trusted me with a 50-caliber machine gun, a .45 pistol and four hand grenades while I was in harm’s way to keep you from having to learn Russian, and I’ll be dammed if you’re going to take my nail file away.” I heard giggles in the line behind me, and a man say, “For God’s sake, let him through.” His face turned red and he did. Are we all running so scared?
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 23, 2007 at 21:04:22 PT
That's the attitude. Go for it.
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Comment #7 posted by fight_4_freedom on May 23, 2007 at 20:32:29 PT:
Thanks a lot! And yes, we have a full army of activists that have been waiting for this one for a very long time. This will be on the 08' ballot no doubt in my mind. Our real mission is to try to educate the public enough in time for the vote. We certainly have a lot of work ahead of us.But this is finally a big time initiative for our entire state. While we have already proven that our State is in favor of legalizing cannabis for medicinal use by passing 5 straight city wide initiatives, but this one would definately seal the deal for us Michiganders!And I can't wait to start collecting those signatures. The ink is already jumpin' out of my pen!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 23, 2007 at 18:50:30 PT
It seems progress is very slow but slowly society is starting to understand about medical marijuana. The more they learn the sooner we can hope that the federal law will be changed. 
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Comment #5 posted by RevRayGreen on May 23, 2007 at 18:02:22 PT
good news indeed.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 23, 2007 at 17:03:51 PT
Rhode Island: House Approves Medical Marijuana Law
May 23, 2007 PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) - House lawmakers vote to make the state's medical marijuana program permanent. The bill passed today by a 51-to-12 vote. That margin is wide enough to survive a possible veto from Governor Carcieri. Under the program, patients with cancer, AIDS and other debilitating illnesses are currently permitted to smoke marijuana to ease their symptons. The program expires June 30th unless lawmakers extend it. Selling and possessing marijuana remains illegal under federal law. House spokesman Larry Berman says the bill will likely go to Carcieri's desk next week after the Senate votes on an identical measure. Carcieri has threatened to veto the legislation. Copyright: 2007 by The Associated Press
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 23, 2007 at 16:58:46 PT
Good luck to you in Michigan. Hopefully you'll have many activists that will jump in and help.
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Comment #2 posted by fight_4_freedom on May 23, 2007 at 16:43:53 PT:
I've been.......
Waiting to bring you this good news. And word is officially out today.People of Michigan, I'm proud to say that we have a new mission........and it starts now!!!Michigan medical marijuana campaign launchesMPP is excited to announce the official launch of our campaign to pass a statewide medical marijuana initiative in Michigan! MPP's Michigan campaign committee, the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care (MCCC), will begin gathering signatures in a matter of days to put the medical marijuana initiative on the 2008 ballot. And we want you to be part of the campaign!In order to get the initiative on the ballot, we need help from committed supporters like you. We are asking our supporters throughout Michigan to either (1) collect 1,000 signatures, or (2) donate or raise $1,000 to get the initiative on the ballot. If only 100 dedicated activists commit to collecting signatures as volunteers and only 450 supporters commit to raising money, the drive will pay for itself — and the money saved can be devoted to the actual campaign to pass the initiative in 2008!Will you please visit to sign up to help today?You can truly be a part of history — and receive recognition on MCCC's Web site for your efforts — if you choose. Only a grassroots effort will make medical marijuana a reality in Michigan — so we're asking for your help today.Michigan law requires that MCCC collect 304,101 signatures in six months to get the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot. Because validity rates for signatures hover around 55%, this means we actually need to collect 550,000 raw signatures to qualify for the ballot. And because it costs us a dollar to gather each and every signature, we need the help of both generous donors and committed volunteers to make this happen.Signature-gathering can be a very difficult process, but the momentum is clearly on our side. Michigan activists have succeeded in passing local medical marijuana initiatives in five cities — Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, and Traverse City — and by large margins in every case. Without their hard work and dedication, this campaign wouldn't even be possible. Support across the state is strong — 59% favor a statewide medical marijuana measure, according to a 2003 poll — and the time has come for all patients in Michigan to be protected from the threat of arrest and jail for using their doctor-recommended medicine. MPP, the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, and activists throughout the state are excited to move forward with this important work — would you please lend your support today?www.mpp.orgSeeing this posted on the website tonight just made my entire year :)Let's do this!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 23, 2007 at 16:34:02 PT
Another Tiny Step
A little bit of good news.
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