The Connecticut Senate effectively legalized medical marijuana in the state by passing House Bill 5389 in the early morning hours Saturday following a 10-hour overtime session described as “passionate” by the Hartford Courant. The Connecticut House of Representatives passed the bill in late April.


Governor Dannel Malloy (D) praised the bill’s passage and has stated that he fully intends to sign it, which would make Connecticut the 17th state in the U.S. to have legalized medical marijuana. Including the District of Columbia, that’s 18 out of 51 states/districts in the nation, meaning more than a third of the country now has legal medicinal cannabis.


HB 5389 passed by a 21-13 vote at 2:35 a.m. local time. The extended session was primarily due to the filibustering of State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton), who reportedly lectured on the dangers of medical marijuana (she views it as both highly addictive and a gateway drug) for over eight hours in voicing her opposition.


But in the end, compassion and logic won out over propaganda and scare tactics, with Boucher’s attempts to have the bill amended to restrict it even further being voted down as well.


However, Connecticut’s soon-to-be medical marijuana law has been consciously crafted to be much more tightly controlled than the laws in some of the other medical pot states. Qualifying patients must provide a physician’s certification stating they have a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.


All patients must register with the state’s Department of Consumer Protection, which will closely monitor and regulate the use of pot by patients, who will only be able to obtain their legal medicine through specially licensed pharmacists.


These precautions have been put in place by Connecticut lawmakers to avoid the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries, and after seeing what has gone down recently in California with no let-up in sight from the feds, it’s probably the best course of action for the state to take at this time.


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