Yesterday, Connecticut became the 17th state to legalize medicinal marijuana. By passing a very restrictive bill, Connecticut legislators hope to avoid problems other states have experienced following the legalization of marijuana for medical use.
Under the bill, patients and their caregivers must register with the Department of Consumer Protection. In addition, their doctors must certify that there is a medical need for marijuana to be dispensed, like in the case of debilitating diseases like cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy.
While other states have similar requirements to obtain a medical marijuana card, Connecticut aims to formalize the procedure by requiring patients and caregivers to register with the Department of Consumer Protection. The legislation also emphasizes the doctor’s certification of medical need, which is often broadened in other states once medical marijuana becomes more available. By limiting the number of dispensaries and caregivers, Connecticut looks to limit the availability of medical marijuana; even for registered patients. Aside from limiting the number of dispensaries, the bill also contains strong restrictions on where you can distribute or grow medical marijuana.