[JURIST] The Connecticut Senate on Saturday passed HB 5389 [text, PDF], which will allow citizens to obtain marijuana for medical use under certain conditions. The law will make Connecticut the 17th state to allow sale of marijuana for medical use. Opponents of the law are concerned that people who do not qualify under the act might be able to get around restrictions and legally purchase marijuana with faulty prescriptions. The Connecticut law, however, seeks to eliminate this problem by requiring that qualified patients purchase only from licensed pharmacists who also must obtain a permit to dispense marijuana. The bill has already been passed by the state’s House and now only needs to be signed by Governor Dannel Malloy (D) [official website], who has already voiced support [press release] for it.
Other states that have passed similar laws have run into trouble with conflicting federal laws regulating the production and sale of marijuana. In March, a federal court dismissed a suit [JURIST report] challenging US attorneys’ authority to prosecute medical marijuana providers in California, saying the federal attorneys do have this authority. In January, the US District Court for the District of Montana [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the state’s laws allowing the sale of medical marijuana did not protect dispensers from federal prosecution. Connecticut has nevertheless been taking steps toward legalization of marijuana. Last year, the state passed a law [JURIST report] decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.