Proponents of the bill stressed that medicinal marijuana is the "best relief [patients] get for their pain. (UPI File Photo/Terry Schmitt) | License Photo
HARTFORD, Conn., April 26 (UPI) -- The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill that allows the growing and use of marijuana for residents with painful, chronic conditions.
The state House on Wednesday voted 96 to 51 in favor of the bill, the Stamford (Conn.) Advocate reported.
Rep. Gerald M. Fox III, D-Stamford, proposed the bill after recent public hearings with resident who said marijuana helps more with severe pain from serious conditions and diseases than traditional pharmaceuticals.
"What they have told us as a committee is that the best relief they get for their pain, the best relief that they have been able to achieve for their respective illnesses, is the use of marijuana," Fox said. "Marijuana is something that has worked for them. It has been the only thing that can relieve their pain."
Fox stressed that in order for patients to get marijuana privileges, they must be over 18 years old and be diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, malnutrition, wasting syndrome, Crohn's disease or post traumatic stress disorder.
"There would be a written certification that would be required to be received from a physician, who would then enable a qualified patient to obtain marijuana for the purposes of their medical care," Fox said. A primary caregiver could also give marijuana to the patient.
House Minority Leader Lawrence M. Cafero, Jr., R-Norwalk, said the bill puts schools and universities in the position of either having to accept marijuana use on their campuses or otherwise discriminate against patients with marijuana privileges.
"They're either breaking the law or discriminating and it's not clear," Cafero said. "Ladies and gentlemen, there is so much that's not clear here."
If the bill passes the state Senate, Connecticut would join 16 others and the District of Columbia where marijuana is legal for medical use.