Tax and Regulate

Ct.: Help us end prohibition next Wednesday in Hartford!

Join coalition leaders for a lobby day and press conference at the capitol on Wednesday, May 15.

We’ve made great progress with the state legislature this year, but victory remains far from certain. The 2019 session is scheduled to end on June 5, and many representatives and senators still haven’t taken a position on the bills to legalize and regulate marijuana. According to legislative leaders who have been counting the votes, we still need to earn support from several undecided legislators in order to be sure we have majorities in both chambers.

If you are available on Wednesday, May 15, we would love to have you add your voice to our chorus of support in Hartford. Beginning at 9 a.m., we will host a legislative breakfast in the cafeteria at the Legislative Office Building (300 Capitol Avenue). After that, we will seek out our state legislators and speak to them about our support for reform efforts. At noon, we will hold a press conference.

If you are able to join us, please RSVP on Facebook.

For more details on the companion bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis, you can read summaries here. Please note that although these bills have already passed committees, legislators are continuing to work on amendments, and at this point everything is subject to change.

If you haven’t already done so, please contact your state representatives and senators and urge your friends and family members to do so as well!

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Tax and Regulate

Ct.: Coalition will meet Thursday, April 18 in Hartford

Join us at 6 p.m. to learn more about what is happening in the legislature and how you can help!

The Connecticut Legislature has taken important steps to advance marijuana legalization this session, but we know that victory remains far from certain. The bills are still works in progress, and many legislators remain undecided on the issue, so it’s clear that our coalition will need to ramp up efforts in the coming weeks.

Fortunately, legislative leaders have made it clear that the issue is a priority this session. They have also indicated that they will continue to consider policy details, including the equity provisions and whether or not to allow home cultivation, before the bills receive a final vote. It’s critically important that advocates work together to maximize our chances of success in the legislature.

Please consider joining us for our first coalition meeting of the year, which will take place in Hartford on Thursday, April 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about what is happening in the state house and also to begin phone banking undecided legislators.

Here are the details:

WHO: Members of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana and coalition co-directors Kebra Smith-Bolden and Adam Wood

WHAT: Coalition meeting to discuss legalization efforts and volunteer phone banking operations

WHERE: The Meeting Room at Hartford Public Safety Complex (253 High St.)

WHEN: Thursday, April 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If you haven’t already done so, please contact your legislators and urge them to support the legalization bills. Then, please share this message with your family and friends.

We hope you’ll be able to join us on Thursday!

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Tax and Regulate

Connecticut: New governor will prioritize legalization in 2019

If you live in Connecticut, please contact your newly elected state legislators today and urge them to support legalizing and regulating marijuana.

Now that Connecticut has elected a pro-legalization governor, it’s clear that ending marijuana prohibition will be on the legislature’s agenda for 2019. Governor-elect Ned Lamont will be inaugurated tomorrow, January 9, and the new legislature will formally begin its work.

Contact your state legislators today and urge them to support the upcoming legalization bill!

After years of frustration for advocates, the wind in Hartford finally appears to be blowing in a great direction. Last week, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz joined the growing chorus of support for legalization and regulation. However, we know that the prohibitionists won’t go down without a fight. Please donate to support our work and help Connecticut make history in 2019!

After you email your state legislators and make a contribution to our campaign, please share this message with your family and friends and encourage them to join the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana!

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Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Makes Move to Expand Medical Marijuana Coverage

Recently, a petition to expand the list of qualifying conditions for Connecticut’s medical marijuana program was introduced to the Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians.connecticut

According to Yale Daily News:

Registered patients and medical representatives attended last Wednesday’s hearing in Hartford calling for four additional medical conditions to be legally treated through medical marijuana. Members of the public gave testimonies before the board petitioning for the recognition of each of the conditions — sickle cell disease, Tourette Syndrome, psoriasis arthritis and Post-Laminectomy Syndrome — a common issue following back surgery.

The meeting concluded with the proposal left unresolved, allowing for additional testimonies and materials to be submitted to the board before Dec. 12. Commissioner of Consumer Protection William Rubenstein said that the board’s next meeting in January will deliberate on the petitions and decide whether to add the conditions.

If the board approves these conditions, members must take further steps before the additions become formally recognized. Rubenstein noted that a letter of recommendation must be submitted by the board to the commissioner of Consumer Protection before another public hearing is held. The motion will be approved only after a regulations review by the general assembly, he said.

Having only just been implemented in September, Connecticut’s medical marijuana statute allows for members of the public to request other debilitating conditions be added to the original 11 eligible for medical marijuana. However, other states have similar policies that have already been amended to include additional medical maladies.

Now that Connecticut’s medical marijuana program is underway, the state’s lawmakers must approve the expansion of coverage so that patients with conditions that could be treated with the use of medical marijuana receive their medicine and symptomatic relief as well.

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Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Officials Hear Testimony on Medical Marijuana Regulations

Officials from Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), which has been charged with organizing the state’s medical marijuana program, heard compelling public testimony Monday morning as the department prepares to establish rules regarding dispensary operations.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a medical marijuana bill into law last May, and the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses in October. Unfortunately, there are no dispensaries currently operating in the state, and it is illegal for patients to grow plants for personal use.

[caption id="attachment_6319" align="alignright" width="195"]Tracey Fanning Tracey Gamer Fanning[/caption]

This loophole has left patients like Tracey Gamer Fanning in an unnerving legal gray-zone. Tracey was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006. The myriad medication she was prescribed left her bedridden and unable to function. This all changed when her doctor recommend she try marijuana. "It gave me my life back," she told CBS.

Despite the impact it’s had on Tracey’s cancer, every time she uses the drug she is breaking the law. Dedicating her limited time to medical-marijuana advocacy, Tracey lined up to speak at Monday’s hearing.

I want the politicians to see my face, the face of a mother from West Hartford who is just grateful to be at the dinner table in the evening instead of in bed, of someone who is so thankful to be part of her children's lives, of someone who lost an advertising career but gained a life mission.

The DCP has composed a 70-page draft of regulations that mimics the state system that controls the distribution of such pharmaceuticals as OxyContin.

MPP’s Director of State Policies, Karen O’Keefe, expressed concerns over the expense of the system of production and distribution. “The provision that requires $2 million in an escrow for producers, that’s a huge sum of money,” Karen stated. “It could edge out the little guy.” MPP has submitted suggested changes to the state regulations.

The DCP will accept written comments until Friday.

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