Voters in Connecticut overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana, a new Quinnipiac University survey shows.
Overall, support for ending cannabis prohibition clocks in at 59 percent for to 36 percent against.
There is majority support for legalization in nearly every demographic, including Democrats, Republicans, independents, men, women, whites and nonwhites. Only people over 65 years of age are in opposition.
Outgoing Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) does not support legalization, but Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont does. Republican candidate Bob Stefanowski says more research is needed before the state ends cannabis prohibition.
Lamont leads Sefanowski 53 percent to 37 percent in the new survey.
The Connecticut polling results are similar to those of other surveys released this week that found strong majority voter support for legalizing marijuana in New Jersey and Wisconsin.
New Jersey Senate President Says He Has The Votes To Legalize Marijuana
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Big Majority Of Connecticut Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana, Poll Finds
Legalizing cannabis for adult use in Connecticut has been discussed multiple times in committee hearings – at one point about a month ago for much longer than anticipated – but it still has not received the support it needs to make it out of committee hearings and drafted as a bill to be heard by the General Assembly. It is not expected to be heard during this week’s judiciary committee hearing, which would be the last chance for lawmakers to push the bill through during this session, effectively letting the prospect die until lawmakers inevitably pick up the issue again during the next legislative session.
“There certainly was more people who felt more strongly about it this year than I’ve ever seen,”
“But I don’t think there was ever an appetite to actually do it this year.”
It doesn’t appear that lawmakers were very convinced from the start that legalization would actually happen – this seems to have been just another chance to get the conversation rolling when it comes to the possibility of legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis.
“I believe that Connecticut is ready for a rational, common-sense approach to the legalization and regulation of marijuana,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven.
“States across the country are reaping the financial benefits of marijuana regulation. With our neighbor Massachusetts poised to be the next state to implement a legalization plan, Connecticut is in danger of being left at a financial disadvantage.”
In a state where funding is short by $1.7 million already, legalizing cannabis seems like the perfect way to not only generate that needed revenue, but to implement a law that the citizens approve of and that would benefit far more than just the state’s general fund. Legalization creates jobs, both on an entrepreneurial scale and on an entry-level and hourly level as well by introducing an entirely new industry. It also frees up lots of time and resources for law enforcement and the court system, who can focus on real crimes instead of misdemeanor marijuana possession charges that cause more damage to an individual’s life than could possibly be necessary in most cases.
It’s unfortunate that Connecticut lawmakers are not quite ready to have a real discussion on cannabis – one that would lead to a vote one way or the other – but it has been an opportunity for many people to come out and speak on behalf of the pro-cannabis legislation. Now that the discussion is open, and neighboring states like Massachusetts are working on implementing taxation and regulation laws of their own, maybe there will be more motivation to actually have something pushed through during the next legislative session.
Originally published: The Marijuana Times
Over the years, medical marijuana has found itself consistently in the media spotlight. Many hold the opinion that marijuana does not contain medicinal properties, but key studies have demonstrated over time that it does. Most recently, The Journal Of Rheumatology published a study demonstrating how medical marijuana is extremely beneficial for pain management. Medical marijuana has also found its place in mental health, as evidenced in this study for therapeutic purposes.
As evidence continues to grow in support of medical marijuana, there are fewer obstacles in researching different methods of medical marijuana application. More hospitals, hospices and research centers are designing innovative research to fully unlock the medicinal benefits of marijuana and educate the greater public.
One such entity that has taken up the research is The Connecticut Hospice in Branford. This Connecticut hospice will study medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids. They are currently slated to roll out a groundbreaking federally funded study to explore this, and New England will be the first region to take this research on.
Before delving in to the study, it is important to understand why this issue was the one chosen to explore. Recent studies have found that within long-term prescription painkiller users, 1 in 3 users report being either dependent or addicted. Adding to this, there is also increasing evidence of opioid medication abuse potentially leading to heroin use.
Currently, medical marijuana has been legal in Connecticut since 2012 for adults. As it stands, their medical marijuana program has close to 585 registered physicians and 15,000 patients. The study aims to find if there is a method through which chronic pain can be treated while avoiding the negative social issues caused by opioid addiction. Connecticut has seen a large spike in heroin related deaths between 2012 and 2015, going from 100 to 400 in the span of four years.
With opioid usage spiking, and the legality of medical marijuana, there is still a vast dearth in knowledge on how to bridge the gap between the two. Finding alternatives to opioids is imperative in preventing further addiction while presenting a feasible alternative to patients for pain management and quality of life improvement.
The hope is that this 6 month hospice study will provide insight and results on how best to curtail the opioid epidemic. Usually, most hospice patients need opioids for pain management and as their conditions worsen, usage of addictive pharmaceutical pain medications generally increases. This helps pave the way for opioid addiction down the line, and is detrimental for many patients.
The study was approved last year, and is currently slated to begin this month. Sixty five patients are currently set to enroll. The study’s primary focus is to improve quality of life, ease pain and observe the associated benefits and safety measures. Common side effects such as a loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting will also be studied during this time to create a more holistic picture.
During the study period, participants will receive medical marijuana via capsule. The capsule is administered 3 times a day for 5 days. Every 8 hours, their quality of life overall will be measured. These include appetite, depression, pain levels and respiratory function.
United States Senator Rick Blumenthal expanded on this, stating, “It’s about pain management at the end of life or during medical procedure…And that can transform the quality of life for people undergoing medical procedures no matter how serious or at what stage — and it can reduce the costs of health care.”
Moreover, other studies in the area of medical marijuana effectiveness are beginning to be approved in other parts of Connecticut. St. Francis Hospital in Hartford was recently given approval for this topic recently. Their study’s key focus is on replacing Oxycodone with medical marijuana for patients suffering from traumatic injuries.
Chronically ill children in Connecticut should soon be able to safely access medical marijuana.
A bill to provide seriously ill children with medicine recently passed the state’s Senate and House legislators. Governor Dannel Malloy is expected to sign the bill into law at any moment.
Connecticut has had medical cannabis since 2012, but dispensaries began gradually opening last year and the state’s young patients in need still remain without safe access.
When Governor Malloy gives his signature to this bill, children suffering from severe forms epilepsy, like the debilitating Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, will be finally able to legally access cannabis rich oils (CBD) to help deal treat persistent pain. To gain a prescription for cannabis, two doctors would have to give each child a prescription.
However, minors in Connecticut won’t be smoking up any time soon: kids will only be allowed liquid forms of marijuana.