Medicinal Pot Could Be Available In A Year

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  Medicinal Pot Could Be Available In A Year

Posted by CN Staff on January 16, 2013 at 05:40:51 PT
By Daniela Altimari, The Hartford Courant 
Source: Hartford Courant  

Connecticut -- Pot-laced baked goods, pills and oils could be legally available to seriously ill patients by the end of the year under a set of careful and comprehensive new rules governing the medicinal use of marijuana to be outlined Wednesday. "We've been working as quickly as possible to get these regulations out there and get them in a form where they can approved so we can fulfill the full promise of the program, which is to make this product available to those who are truly sick,'' William M. Rubenstein, the state's consumer protection commissioner, said Tuesday. "The end of this year is doable, but optimistic. It may spill over into 2014."
The state Department of Consumer Protection, which will oversee the production and sale of medical marijuana, has been working for months to craft a policy that seeks to provide relief from debilitating illnesses while guarding against theft and abuse.The result is a proposal that tops 70 pages and governs everything from the containers in which the drug will be sold (they must be opaque and have childproof caps) to the clothing that dispensary workers will be permitted to wear (no pockets allowed). In some states, notably California and Colorado, the rules governing medical marijuana are fairly loose and hundreds of pot dispensaries have opened.Connecticut, which was the 16th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use, is taking a more restrictive approach. Rubenstein said he and others in the consumer protection department spent months researching and writing the proposals and met with patients and physicians. Officials also traveled to Maine to visit a dispensary and spoke with producers in other states. "Connecticut has really taken the lead here in terms of treating medical marijuana as a pharmaceutical," Rubenstein said. "I think Connecticut was at an advantage because it had more time to take a thoughtful look at medical marijuana as a possibility and therefore allowed it to recognize that this really is a pharmaceutical product that should be treated like other pharmaceutical products." Only those with one of 11 debilitating medical conditions, including AIDS, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, are eligible for a prescription, which will be required for all medical marijuana purchases. Patients will be limited to a one-month supply. Before prescribing the drug, physicians have to determine that the relief offered by marijuana outweighs its health risks. Patients and their caregivers must register with the state and the drug will be sold only at licensed dispensaries. The regulations will be subject to public review and additional oversight by a legislative committee, a process that could take six months. Once the rules are in place, a supply and distribution network will be established. The draft rules would tightly restrict the production and distribution of medical marijuana. Those seeking to grow it will need to have deep pockets: the policy proposes that growers put $2 million in escrow, and pay a $25,000 application fee and a $75,000 license fee. The draft rules call for licensing at least three growers. The rules also stipulate that dispensaries and growing facilities have adequate security, including perimeter alarms, motion detectors, a silent alarm and video surveillance. And all marijuana must be assigned a brand name by the producer that will be registered with the department, according to the proposed policy. The active ingredients of each product must be listed on the registration form and the products will be tested for chemical residue and microbiological contaminants and to analyze the active ingredients. Although the drug is not yet available, patients began registering for medical marijuana in October. About 270 patients have been certified by a physician to be eligible for the drug. Medical marijuana legislation was approved at the end of the last legislative session and signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy 71/2 months ago.Source: Hartford Courant (CT)Author: Daniela Altimari, The Hartford Courant Published: January 15, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Hartford CourantContact: letters courant.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #1 posted by observer on January 16, 2013 at 14:48:11 PT
Some Animals are More Equal Than Others
re: "Medicinal Pot Could Be Available In A Year"Notice the glacial pace when people vote to not lock up some segment of the pot-smoking population, in this case medical patients. Years to implement, with every procedural roadblock thrown up that sore-loser bureaucrats and police-state cheer-leader politicians can plausibly muster with a semi-straight face. On the other hand, when (yet another) law is passed to filch more freedoms that a free people once shared, police and politician march in swift lock-step and goose-step, with superb hand-in-glove cooperation, swiftly and immediately implementing any new police-state power and prohibition on the stroke of midnight.  See the difference?  When government steals your freedom: boom! Nothing but nothing, stops the police state from immediately implementing those laws.But when people claw just the tiniest fraction of a sliver of their traditional freedoms back again, government and police-state scream and howl, and most creatively drag their feet for years. And years. Like New Jersey voting for medical marijuana. Or DC... Or police just pretend the new laws never happened. And judges refuse to tell juries the truth, judges simply and baldly lie to juries, judges lie to juries about the law: telling juries they must convict at all costs. (See for more on that.) Summary:New Police state laws from government: Implemented with efficiency that would have embarrassed the Gestapo.People clawing some traditional liberty back again: Government pretends it never happened, and continues arrests/prison as usual.
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