On Friday, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law legislation that allows the use of marijuana for medical reasons in the state. Connecticut joins 16 other states, and the District of Columbia, that have legalized medical marijuana over the course of the past 16 years.
Under the new law, licensed physicians will be able to certify adult patients’ use of marijuana for medical purposes after determining that the patient suffers from a debilitating medical condition.
The new law is one of the strictest in the country, requiring patients to receive a recommendation from a doctor and to register with the state Department of Consumer Protection. The registration information will also be shared will law enforcement.
Patients and caregivers can legally possess one month’s worth of medication, an amount which has still yet to be determined. This amount will be decided by a panel of doctors appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection.
Doctors will also be monitored by the Department of Consumer Protection to ensure that they are not exhibiting patterns of over-prescribing medical marijuana to a large number of patients.
Patients suffering from AIDS, HIV, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, cancer, PTSD, and spinal cord damage, among other conditions, will be able to benefits from the newly legal form of medication, should their doctors deem it appropriate for treating their symptoms.
There will be up to ten licensed dispensaries and producers throughout the state. The lawmakers’ goal was to avoid an over-saturation of collectives in the state. Governor Malloy explained, “We don’t want Connecticut to follow the path pursued by some other states, which essentially would legalize marijuana for anyone willing to find the right doctor and get the right prescription. In my opinion, such efforts run counter to federal law. Under this law, however, the Department of Consumer Protection will be able to carefully regulate and monitor the medicinal use of this drug in order to avoid the problems encountered in some other states.”
The legislation, Public Act 12-55 An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana, was proposed and spearheaded by State Representative Penny Bacchiochi, State Representative Gerald Fox, III, State Senator Eric Coleman, and Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney.