Connecticut Medical Marijuana Bill Vetoed

Yesterday Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed a bill that would have allowed people suffering from diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis to grow marijuana and use it to relieve their symptoms. The New York Times reports that Rell agonized over this veto, "struggling with what was described as one of the most difficult decisions in her three-year tenure." But the reasons she cited for rejecting the bill make little sense.

Rell complained that the bill was not limited to terminally ill patients. But cancer patients use marijuana to fight the nausea caused by chemotherapy, thereby making a potentially lifesaving treatment bearable. AIDS patients use marijuana to get back their appetites and thereby counteract a potentially fatal wasting syndrome. In both cases, marijuana helps patients avoid death, which should be at least as important as making someone's few remaining days more comfortable. Meanwhile, people with chronic diseases such as MS use marijuana to improve their daily functioning, which ought to count for something, especially if they're nowhere near death. In short, Rell's proposed dying-patients-only requirement is an arbitrary limitation with no medical or humanitarian basis.

Even while suggesting that the bill should be more restrictive, Rell worried that it would not make marijuana legal enough. "There are no pharmacies, storefronts or mail order catalogs where patients or caregivers can legally purchase marijuana plants or seeds," she said in her veto message. "I am troubled by the fact that, in essence, this bill forces law abiding citizens to seek out drug dealers to make their marijuana purchases." It's the current law that forces patients to seek out drug dealers; the medical marijuana bill would at least have given them the option of legally growing their own. It also would have made their possession of marijuana legal under state law. Since local and state governments make almost all marijuana arrests, removing that threat would make a big difference for patients worried about going to jail, even though marijuana would still be banned at the federal level.

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  • LarryA||

    I have come to the conclusion that fighting the War on Drugs kills more brain cells than all the illegal substances combined.

  • ||

    god damn my state.

  • ||

    I just re-watched the Penn & Teller: Bullshit on the War on Drugs. How irksome this all is. How can anyone with a conscience ignore people who are suffering, all for some total nonsense like the WOD? Like Penn, I've never used illegal drugs and don't advocate their use, but this stupid prohibition and "war" is simply too harmful to, well, everything. Please stop.

    By the way, for anyone who didn't see that episode, Jacob was featured prominently.

  • Robert||

    My take..
    http://iwasthestate.blogspot.com/2007/05/medical-marijuana-should-it-matter.html

  • ||

    Well, that's it, then.

    New post-prison Martha Stewart needs to run for Governor of Connecticut.

    She's probably the only person in America who could say "During my time in the pen, I learned..." without her numbers taking a hit among married women.

  • ||

    Is anyone really surprised any longer that higher political aspirations trump human suffering EVERY SINGLE TIME!

  • ed||

    A principled politician is a contradiction in terms or at least an anomaly. No surprises here.

  • ||

    The New York Times reports that Rell agonized over this veto, "struggling with what was described as one of the most difficult decisions in her three-year tenure."
    Fortunately for her, she will not "agonize" as much as those she has condemned to suffer.

  • ||

    =Recycled Comment=
    Sometimes I think these excesses of the drug war show how desperate they are, and that more and more people will soon cry "enough". Sometimes I think this just goes to show how thoroughly hopeless it is and that they do these things to demonstrate that there are no limits to what they can get away with.
    ==================

    Fuck this is depressing. Hey buddy, got any spare change?

  • ||

    It would make some sense if Rell's motive was to prevent sick CT residents from being busted by a Federal government that ignores such state laws, but it seems like she's chosen pander to the "all drugs are evil" voters with her statements.

  • ||

    Fortunately for her, she will not "agonize" as much as those she has condemned to suffer.

    How about the people she has prevented from suffering from addiction to drug. Marijuana makes people feel good, it is imorral to feel good, suffering is good for the soul, it is what God wants. Marijuana is classified by congress as having no currently accepted use and too dangerous to be used, even under close medical supervision. The end, that's it, period, end of discussion.

  • ||

    but it seems like she's chosen pander to the "all drugs are evil" voters with her statements.

    Voters want politicians that are tougth on drugs and will protect their children from drug.

  • CrippledVulture||

    Don't you see? It's gateway legislation.

  • ||

    This one sucks. Mr. Sullum is correct that the governor's rationale makes absolutely no sense.

  • ||

    At least it was a vetoed bill instead of a non-starter, i.e., the majority of Connecticut's legislature is in favor of medical marijuana.

    That's gotta count for something, right? Moral victory, maybe?

  • ||

    Randolph Carter,

    Come on, what happened to your sense of "statriotism"? ;-)

    It could be worse; you could live in a state whose legislature refuses to even pass a bill legalizing medical MJ, let alone have the governor sign it.

  • ||

    Dan T. is up to something. Either that the renewed competition from Juanita has messed up his rhythm.

  • ||

    Perhaps Dan T. is finally seeing the light?

  • robc||

    Dan T,

    Who are we to tell the people of NJ what there drug laws should be?

    Come on Dan, I expected a good troll from you.

  • robc||

    their, not there.

  • ||

    robc,

    And CT, not NJ... ;-)

  • ||

    Was the majority that approved the bill veto-proof?

  • Reverand James Brown and the R||

    Do you seeeeeeeeee the light?

  • OTC Addict||

    Forget medical marijuana, I still dont think it would be political suicide for a politician to advocate marijuana legalization.

  • ||

    OTC Addict,

    Well they might lose the nanny vote, but you know, fuck those people anyway..

  • robc||

    crimethink,

    To those of us in flyover territory, CT and NJ are the same place. Next you will want me to keep the Dakotas straight.

  • ||

    To those of us in CT, the Dakotas are flyover country. ;)

  • ||

    All and all Rell had been pretty harmless as gov, as I recall. I'm suprised she whipped out the veto pen for this.

    This further cements my decision to never move back to my home state. Of course, I'm not sure Colorado is any better or worse in this regard, but it's a far better place to live than CT for many other (mostly non-political) reasons.

  • ||

    I still dont think it would be political suicide for a politician to advocate marijuana legalization.

    Political suicide? Maybe not.

    Physical suicide? Quite likely, given the amount that violent folks have invested in marijuana remaining a high-profit illegal product. And no, I'm not kidding.

  • ||

    "Forget medical marijuana, I still dont think it would be political suicide for a politician to advocate marijuana legalization."

    If you look at who actually gets elected, yes it would. In my state the most-pro-pot legislator (who, ironically, calls herself a Republican) won't advocate outright legalization, but rather has nipped around the edges with proposals for industrial hemp production, etc. that go nowhere. Even in one of the blueist states in the union, legalization is a political nonstarter. I argued in favor of medical marijuana during the Republican caucus before the floor vote at our legislature, and got the ones who were initially against it to back off and let it go through.

  • ||

    Now see, medical marijuana is one issue where I'm firmly on board with you folks...yet when I don't disagree, you guys actually seem a little disappointed!

  • ||

    Dan T.-

    You actually make sense one in a blue moon. Most of us aren't disappointed 'cause we know that you'll be your usual clueless self soon.

    There. Do you feel better now?

  • Andrew Ian Dodge||

    Ok let me get this straight...because my decaying cornea is not going to kill me I should not be able to smoke pot to quell the pain.

    Thanks so much...here is hoping you suffer from a similar kind of pain to mine sometime soon.

  • ||

    The New York Times reports that Rell agonized over this veto, "struggling with what was described as one of the most difficult decisions in her three-year tenure."

    I'd hate to see a list of the intrusive authoritarian garbage that she signed without any struggle at all. What does that tell you about this statist tool of a governor?

  • Robert||

    Voters are apparently much likelier to make a politician's position on cannabis a priority (i.e. make-or-break in an election to office) if they're anti than if they're pro. That's because the pros realize that whatever the law is, the med mj patients will still be able to get pot, while the antis view drug laws symbolically as of a single piece from which any deviation is a signal of disloyalty to that cause.

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