By William “Stash” Jones
Oregon Cannabis Connection
Sept 21, 2016 – Children will finally be allowed to use medical marijuana in Connecticut beginning Oct 1, 2016 thanks to a new law recently passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Malloy in May of this year. The law had strong support in the legislature clearing their house 129 – 13 and their Senate 23-11. It allows children to use cannabis with a recommendation from at least two physicians recommendation and they cannot smoke, vaporize, or inhale the medication.
Previously the only state to actually ban minors from using medical cannabis, under the new law, minors are only be eligible for the medical program if they are suffering from these specific conditions: terminal illness requiring end-of-life care, irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, severe epilepsy or uncontrolled intractable seizure disorders.
It is a very restrictive law, but it is a step in the right direction, and hopefully can be widened in the future. The Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics also backed the bill.
One additional provision in the bill is to allow and authorize the Department of Consumer Protection, who oversees the state medical marijuana program, to allow hospitals and higher-education institutions to conduct research on medical cannabis. That is a big deal, and could lead to more acceptance of cannabis as medicine.
What does the bill do?
This bill would allow minors with certain medical conditions to use marijuana for palliative purposes – with some restrictions.
Minors would be allowed to receive the drug – in forms that cannot be smoked, inhaled or vaporized – if they have permission from two physicians and a parent or guardian, and one of the following conditions:
- A terminal illness that requires end-of-life care
- An irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- Cerebral palsy
- Cystic fibrosis
- Severe epilepsy or uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder
The bill also expands the conditions that would qualify an adult to use medical marijuana to include the list for minors. (Epilepsy was already an approved condition for adults.)
In addition, the bill would allow hospices or other inpatient care facilities to receive marijuana from a licensed dispensary if the facility has a protocol for handling and distributing the drug that has been approved by the state Department of Consumer Protection.
The bill also would allow the state’s consumer protection commissioner to approve research programs on medical marijuana, and requires the commissioner to adopt regulations for approving the programs and licensing their employees. Those research programs would be required to get their marijuana from licensed dispensaries, producers or labs, and their research subjects would have to be registered with the Department of Consumer Protection.
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