Connecticut Marijuana Proposal Revived

March 01, 2004

Garret Condon, The Hartford Courant

Supporters are hoping to breathe life back into a medical marijuana bill that is making its fourth appearance at the legislature in as many years.

Testimony at a public hearing Monday demonstrated some support among Connecticut doctors, but it also showed there is still strongly felt opposition among lawmakers.

The proposed law would decriminalize the cultivation and use of small amounts of marijuana for seriously ill patients who are certified to use the drug by their doctors. Nine states have similar laws. Last year's bill lost by 15 votes in the House of Representatives, according to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim Abrams, D-Meriden.

Rep. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, speaking before the legislature's judiciary committee, said such a law would send kids the wrong message about drug use.

'Now we're about to say, 'It's OK, it's just medicine,'' she said.

Under the proposed law, doctors would not be at risk of violating federal law because they would not possess or prescribe marijuana -- they would only recommend it, said Dr. David Simon, an anesthesiologist who said he is the only doctor to ever apply for a license to provide medicinal marijuana, but was turned down.

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