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Winning Medical Marijuana a Priority in Connecticut

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In 2004 and 2005, Connecticut came very close to passing a compassionate use bill to provide patients with access to physician-recommended marijuana. But both years, the bill got mired in political debates and never made it out of the legislature.

Drug Policy Alliance Network, the lobbying arm of the Drug Policy Alliance, is now working hard to break through the politics and win medical marijuana legislation in Connecticut for 2007.

Legislation currently on the books is written such that doctors who recommend medical marijuana and patients who use it are not protected from criminal prosecution. The law must be fixed in order to make medical marijuana accessible and improve the quality of life for people who are seriously ill.

Such a fix would bring the law in line with the views of voters. 83% of Connecticut residents support medical marijuana, according to a 2004 report by UConn Center for Survey Research and Analysis.

"Compassionate Use in Connecticut has an overwhelming support from Connecticut residents, as well as from health organizations such as the Connecticut Nurses Association," said Gabriel Sayegh, director of DPA's state organizing and policy project. "Now is the time to turn that support into momentum for the 2007 legislative session."

The governor and all state legislators are up for re-election this fall, so drug policy reform supporters in Connecticut are contacting their legislators now to let them know passage of medical marijuana remains a high priority for voters.

"Eleven states now have working medical marijuana laws, health organizations around the world recognize the medical value of marijuana, and the federal Institute of Medicine found that marijuana provides relief to some patients," said Sayegh. "The most effective methods for managing pain associated with conditions such as cancer or HIV/AIDS should be determined by doctors and their patients, not by politicians who refuse to accept the evidence."

NewsHawk: _qWERTY - www.420Times.com
Source: Drug Policy Alliance (Connecticut)
Pubdate: Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Drug Policy Alliance
Contact: webmaster@drugpolicy.org
Website: Drug Policy Alliance
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