The Connecticut Senate approved a bill early Saturday that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Gov. Dannel Malloy says he will sign it into law.
The Senate voted 21-13 in favor of the bill at 2:34 a.m. making Connecticut the 17th state to have approved such a bill. The District of Columbia has also approved a similar bill.
The law includes complex regulated system of cultivation, dispensing and licensing, according to the Huffington Post, which says the bill outlines specific diseases that would be treated under the drug and requires patients to get a recommendation from their physician and establishes a system of licensing for patients, caregivers and growers. Read the full Huffington Post article here.
The bill, officially known as House Bill 5389: An Act Concering the Palliative Use of Marijuana, was introduced by the state's Judiciary Committee. On April 25, the bill passed the House of Represenatives by a vote of 96-51.
State Rep. David K. Labriola, R-Oxford, voted in favor of the bill.
State Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown, whose district covers Oxford, voted against the bill.
Malloy released the following statement on Saturday:
“There are thousands of people in Connecticut who will likely benefit from this legislation as they struggle with debilitating and life-threatening illnesses. With them in mind, I want to commend the General Assembly for passing this bill.
“I understand many of the concerns raised by opponents. We don’t want Connecticut to follow the path pursued by some other states, which essentially would legalize marijuana for anyone willing to find the right doctor and get the right prescription. In my opinion, such efforts run counter to federal law. Under this proposal, however, the Department of Consumer Protection will be able to carefully regulate and monitor the medicinal use of this drug in order to avoid the problems encountered in some other states.
“This legislation is about accomplishing one objective: providing relief to those with severe medical illnesses. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk.”