Conneticut House Approves Medical Marijuana Bill
Ethan A. Huff
With a nearly two-to-one approval ratio, Connecticut House Bill 5389, which would legalize at the state level small amounts of medical marijuana for patients in need, has been passed by the Connecticut State House of Representatives. And if passed by the State Senate, Governor Dannel Malloy has indicated he will sign H.B. 5389 into law, which would make Connecticut the 17th U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana.
Connecticut has been on the road to legalizing marijuana for several years now, having last June partially decriminalized the plant by lessening the penalties for possessing half an ounce of marijuana or less (http://www.naturalnews.com/032681_Connecticut_marijuana.html). If H.B. 5389 is signed into law, qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions who obtain a doctor recommendation will be able to access as much as a one-month supply of marijuana at any one time without facing criminal penalty.
If passed, the bill will also establish guidelines for the creation of marijuana dispensaries, as well as producers that will be allowed to grow marijuana for distribution. As long as patients, dispensaries, and growers comply with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) guidelines as set forth in the bill, they will join the ranks of the thousands of others across the U.S. that are legally utilizing medical marijuana in defiance of oppressive, unconstitutional federal restrictions that prohibit access to marijuana.
“We’re authorizing physicians to make smart medical choices with how they treat their patients,” said Rep. Roland Lemar (D-New Haven) to the Yale Daily News. “It’s been proven over and over that marijuana has positive side effects that other drugs have been unable to offer.
You can view the latest version of H.B. 5389, as well as track its progress through the legislature, at: http://www.cga.ct.gov
Why marijuana needs to be fully deregulated and legalized
Though Connecticut’s approach to legalizing medical marijuana with H.B. 5389 is a positive step in the right direction, it still wrongly tacks on a stigma that assumes marijuana is somehow dangerous and in need of strict government regulation. It will still be more difficult, after all, for patients to access natural marijuana under H.B. 5389 than it will for them to access much more dangerous prescription drugs like OxyContin (oxycodone), Percocet (acetaminophen and oxycodone), and Vicodin (acetaminophen and hydrocodone).
Each of these drugs carries with it deadly side effects, while marijuana is virtually free of negative side effects. Marijuana is just a plant, after all, and it is not even psychoactive unless dried or heated. Its raw leaves and flowers, in fact, are loaded with health-promoting cannabinoids capable of completely restoring cellular and immune health, and mitigating serious and deadly illnesses for which mainstream medicine has declared there are no cures (http://youtu.be/S-iU9QN0fEM).
The primary reason why marijuana is still outlawed at the federal level today is because it is a serious threat to the drug industry, which holds great sway in the policymaking arena. Marijuana truly is a “superfood” with profound healing potential, it is not harmful to health in any way when consumed correctly, and it is very easy to grow and beneficial for the environment.
We must continue educating the public about marijuana in order to strip away the social stigmas that keep it out of reach from the people that need it most. To learn more, visit: http://www.cannabisinternational.org/