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Connecticut Gov to Decide on Medical Cannabis Access

connecticut medical cannabis

State lawmakers have finalized and approved legislation expanding patients’ access to the Connecticut medical cannabis program.

House Bill 5450 permits qualifying patients under the age of 18 to possess and consume medical cannabis preparations. Connecticut is the only state that presently restricts medical marijuana access to those who are under 18 years of age.

The proposal also expands the list of qualifying illnesses eligible for cannabis therapy to include: ”uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder,” ”irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity,” cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, and a “terminal illness requiring end-of-life care.”

Another provision in the bill establishes a statewide clinical research program to “increase information or knowledge regarding the growth, processing, medical attributes, dosage forms, administration or use of marijuana to treat or alleviate symptoms of any medical conditions or the effects of such symptoms.” To date, only two states – California and Colorado – have implemented similar state-sponsored cannabis research programs. An assessment of California’s program reported, “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information of safety is lacking.” The Colorado program is ongoing.

Separate language in the bill protects nurses from criminal, civil, or disciplinary sanction if they choose to administer marijuana to a qualifying patient in a hospital setting. No other state imposes similar language explicitly permitting patients’ access to medical cannabis while hospitalized.

You can read the full text of the Connecticut medical cannabis bill here.

If signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy, the new law would take effect on October 1.

Additional information about this measure and other pending marijuana law reform legislation is available from NORML’s Take Action Center here.


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