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Connecticut Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana BillSalem-News.com
Governor Rell: “While we all want to relieve pain and suffering, other effective treatments are available and this bill would require illegal activity”
(HARTFORD, Conn. ) - Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell has vetoed a bill approved by the General Assembly that would have allowed the medical use of marijuana.
The Governor said that while “the bill seeks to provide relief to patients suffering from severe and persistent pain, the bill also requires that patients or primary caregivers engage in illegal activity to use marijuana.”
The Governor noted in her veto message that the “medical profession, as well as public and private biotechnology researchers, have made great strides in both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic modalities for pain management and they continue their search to find effective pain relieving drugs.”
The bill is House Bill 6715, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana.
“I am not unfamiliar with the incredible pain and heartbreak associated with battling cancer and I have struggled with the decision about signing or vetoing this bill,” Governor Rell said. “I completely sympathize with the well-intentioned goal of alleviating pain and suffering, but legal alternatives are available, the bill forces law abiding citizens to seek out drug dealers to make a purchase, and there is no provision for monitoring use or proof of its effectiveness.
Governor Rell said that she has spoken and met with dozens of people on the issue, including members of the medical profession.
“Smoked marijuana as medicine has been rejected by the American Medical Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Glaucoma Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmolgy and the American Cancer Society,” Governor Rell stated in her veto message.
“There should be no doubt that all of us would want to relieve the pain of a suffering patient,” Governor Rell said. “But few physicians have prescribed marijuana because doing so would be a violation of federal law. I am also concerned that this bill would send the wrong message to our youth. I have carefully weighed all of the issues associated with this issue. In the end, I believe it is most appropriate for me to veto this bill.”
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