Lawmakers, farmers, and cancer survivors were among the many that gathered into a hearing room to discuss upcoming medical marijuana regulations in the state. There were proposals that were applauded and those that were not. But as the proposed regulations are discussed, I are getting closer to having a medical marijuana system in place.
According to the Conn. Post, farmer Joe Palmieri was one several who testified about the regulations. He said he wants a chance to get in on production, to diversify the existing crops on his land. But, he said, the proposed $2 million escrow the state wants from growers is not only too much, but it would be easily seized if the federal government wanted to challenge the state laws.
In response, Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein told Palmieri that the government could just as easily take his farm if they were that set on challenging state laws. Palmieri agreed but said “it's not as easy”.
Others, who oppose medical marijuana from the get-go were present. But, they are unlikely to get their way as the system is well on its way to fruition.
So far, since the state began taking applications from patients, more than 300 have signed up. Qualifying patients must be 18 and have doctor approval. Qualifying conditions include cancer, AIDS, HIV, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, PTSD, or Parkinson's.
“What we're trying to do is develop a program that serves your interests and hopefully what we've done, aided by the comments that we get here today, will give you the promise that we hope this legislation has,” Rubenstein told cancer patient Tracey Gamer-Fanning, who attended to let it be known she uses marijuana and it benefits her like no other pharmaceutical has.
“I wanted to come here today to represent not only myself as a brain cancer patient, but every patient who is afraid to come here, is afraid to come on camera, or embarrassed or physically can't do it,” she said.
While I wait for the medical marijuana system to be put in place, I wonder if legalized recreational marijuana will ever come to the state. Often, a well-executed system for medical marijuana can lay the foundation for all-out legalization.
Until then, marijuana is illegal. Possessing it, selling it, and growing it are against the law. If you are accused of a marijuana crime, contact my office today to discuss your case and how I might be able to help.