Activists in Connecticut have been hard at work trying to make their great state the next one to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Connecticut has been trying to hammer out a plan for marijuana legislation for some time now, and proponents say that this try culminates everything they've learned from prior disagreements.
"I think this is the year," says Republican state Senator John Kissel.
Executive director of the state chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), Erik Williams, said that this latest bill is the best in the country.
According to the Hartford Courant, the bill "proposes a specific system for licensing medical marijuana producers," within the state, and systems for "dispensing the drug and registering qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions."
A similar bill was in the air in 2007, but stopped at then-Governor Jodi Dell's desk in a veto. But last June, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted to decriminalize a half-ounce of marijuana or less, with first-time offenders receiving a $150 ticket, and latter offences of at least $200, but not to exceed $500. Three or more offenses required drug counseling.
The New Haven Register saysthat this bill "limits dispensaries to existing pharmacies and puts the burden of licensing dispensaries in the hands of the commissioner of the Department Consumer Protection," which some, like Representative Penny Bachiochi, are calling "restrictive and conservative."
Williams says he would have liked to see some minor changes to language in the bill, and maintained that he is looking for medical marijuana legalization and not full legalization.