On Wednesday night, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted 96 to 51 to approve the use, growth, and dispensing of medical marijuana in the state. The bill will now go to the Senate for approval.
Before the vote, politicians deliberated for over 7 hours, lasting into the late hours of the night. 17 of the 99 Democrats voted against the bill, while 17 of the 52 Republicans voted to approve the bill.
Representative Gerald M. Fox III, who introduced the legislation, spoke out about marijuana’s efficacy for patients, stating, “What they have told us as a committee is that the best relief the get for their pain, the best relief that they have been able to achieve for their respective illnesses, is the use of marijuana. Marijuana is something that has worked for them. It has been the only thing that can relieve their pain.”
Other lawmakers did not approve of the bill because they felt that there were important issues it did not address, such as patient discrimination and how medical marijuana would be handled on college campuses.
If the medical marijuana bill is approved, it will make Connecticut the 17th state (plus Washington DC) to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Current proposed conditions for use under the bill are HIV, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, MS, glaucoma, epilepsy, PTSD, malnutrition, wasting syndrome, spinal cord injuries, and Crohn’s disease.
Should the bill pass into law, the stat Department of Consumer Protection will be responsible for determining other illnesses and diseases to include in the list in the future.
On Wednesday, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy told reporters that he will let the bill become law, should it pass the Legislature.