Newsbrief: Connecticut Legislator to Reintroduce Medical Marijuana Bill 1/3/03

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Connecticut state representative James Abrams announced Monday that he will reintroduce a medical marijuana bill in the state legislature this spring. The bill would allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for a specified list of diseases and conditions, including the treatment of nausea associated with chemotherapy, eye pressure from glaucoma, and HIV/AIDS wasting syndrome, among others.

Connecticut passed one of the nation's first medical marijuana bills in 1981. That law allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes, but because federal law overrides state law, Connecticut doctors have not prescribed medical marijuana for fear of prosecution or losing their ability to write prescriptions for controlled substances.

Under the Abrams bill, drafted by the New Haven-based A Better Way Foundation, doctors would provide certificates to approved patients. It would then be up to the patient -- not the doctor -- to actually acquire his or her medicine. "What we basically want to do is make the law workable," Robert Rooks, executive director of A Better Way, told the Associated Press, referring to the state's existing but dormant medical marijuana law.

Abrams sponsored similar legislation last year without success. And he can expect more opposition this year from the likes of state Rep. Claudia "Dolly" Powers (R-Greenwich). "I'm just not comfortable with opening that door in terms of just general access through a doctor's orders," she told the AP. "We do have medicines that already mimic it without the smoking part and all that kind of stuff," she said.

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Issue #270, 1/3/03 Editorial: Constitutional Inconveniences | Pressure for Change Mounts as Ontario Judge Rules Canadian Marijuana Possession Law Invalid 270/californiabudget Budget Crisis Forces California Governor to Consider Early Releases, Other Prison Measures | Prosecutors Enlist in Drug Czar's Anti-Marijuana Campaign -- Will Prioritize Marijuana Cases, Lobby Against Reform | Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, Feb. 12-15, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico | Cumbre Internacional Sobre Legalización, 15-Dec Febrero, Mérida, México | Newsbrief: Connecticut Legislator to Reintroduce Medical Marijuana Bill | Newsbrief: Prosecutors Seize Bail Money, Claim Pot Smell -- A New Tactic? | Newsbrief: Louisiana Drug Raid Draws Protests | Newsbrief: France Looking to Heighten Marijuana Penalties | Newsbrief: NJ Weedman to Get Day in Federal Court After Months in Jail for Thought Crime | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Farmers Drive Out Eradicators | Newsbrief: Ethiopian Farmers Turn to Khat in Face of Drought, Low Coffee Prices | DC Job Opportunities at DRCNet | The Reformer's Calendar

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