Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Up For Debate

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP / WCBS 880) — Connecticut lawmakers are taking up several bills that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes and decriminalize the possession of small amounts of the illegal drug.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports

The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Monday to hear testimony on the proposals.

One bill, proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, would make it an infraction for someone to possess less than one ounce of marijuana. Under current law, it would be a misdemeanor.

Another bill proposed by lawmakers would also make it an infraction to possession drug paraphernalia.

Committee members are also expected to hear testimony on legislation that would allow doctors in Connecticut to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes to certain patients with debilitating conditions. Malloy has offered one of the bills for consideration.

Feel strongly about the bill? Tell us more in our comments section.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • 4204everlegalornot

    Shucks, Anyone have a rolling paper? I just broke my last one. This story is just not going to be as much fun to read without a joint.

  • William S.

    Wow I have not seen so much ignorance in my life in some of these comments like Kite Fliers and such if you haven’t researched marijuana and its effects even in the slightest I suggest that you do and let me know how many have died from an overdose of marijuana and how many have died from tobacco use and alcohol use. Then once you are through with that consider how idiotic you make yourself sound in your comments. Honestly those that are opposed sound like the typical “sheep” of America who believe everything their Government tells them is the truth. Tobacco and alcohol companies fund anti drug policies and such because they know it would be detrimental to their products if Marijuana were to be legalized some day. So I urge you that oppose to actually do some research about this so called addicting drug and get your facts in order lest you want to keep making idiotic comments on which you know little to nothing about.

  • that guy

    marijuana is illegal but tobacco is not? Why is this. Tobacco is more dangerous than pot so maybe it should be switched around and honestly whats wrong with smoking a little pot once and awhile. Everybody is still gonna toke anyways so just save people the trouble

  • Liv

    I only have an opinion. You can debate that I am from California and I do have my Medical Marijuana license, so I may possibly have a “close minded” opinion on this debate. Not true. This is no debate. There is no question that it shouldn’t be decriminalized. Why put someone is jail for obtaining a small amount of pot, when it harms practically no one but themselves? Last time I’ve check Americans didn’t care about anyone but themselves, for the most part. Why start now? if Marijuana causes you to be lazy, thats your issue and no one else’s. That said, we pay for millions of people to be on welfare when some are misusing the money drastically. But does that change anything? No. We are in no position to question the lives of those who partake it something that is foreign to another. Let people be! Save money

  • Pest

    We need it for the economy. No one has ever died and rules need to be set before we ok somehting like this because people just don’t know how to act. Most people don’t understand that we’re moving into the new age and I call it the New Underworld Order. This new order will reign in corruption and greed and kaos. We’ll need to smoke to take our minds off of what nonsense we’re now seeing almost everyday even on regular TV.

  • Trish

    Legalize it already!!! stop wasting time by taking polls, writting admendments , etc, etc… If you don’t smoke it, you have nothing to worry about and if a love one smokes it you have nothing to worry about.

  • AL

    Possession is definitely should not be legal ( as there is no control over it). However, medical use under controlled conditions in the local hospitals or special pain centers definitely must be allowed.

    • j0oe

      no it shuld be legal

  • Jerry

    Look at those results….91% in favor!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ellie

    MY sister was in pain very bad had cancer and was sent home by a hospital saying it was it was her it was her nerves . on friday she came home and was so miserable i called he nurse who checked her out and said she was parlayzed up up too her chin, She called my sisters doc and the head nurse in the city who told us to get,her to a another hospital fast WE did and she was bought into to emergency room and they just said your sister is very sick please go in emergency room every few minutes to comfort WE wnt nome and *and the next morning the hospital called at 8 am said bring family in for a conference ,we went and there were several doctors waiting to have a conference with us.they said she had cancer in every part of her body and wished they could give her marijuanay that would help her pain< They said it was the worst mal practice they ever had They tried to keep her in the least pain they could . She died less than 2 weeks after other hospital told us to get help for her as he was a mental patient . boy the hospital she was in was so mad they wanted us to bring a mal practice case againt the 14 doctors and hospital making us she was going out of her mind . she thing great but wanted a divorce and with the hospital helping us got her a divorce right away.right way.She was relived to her it was cancer and not her mind, She died peacefully.

  • Suzanne

    I have worked as an advocate in the domestic abuse field. I have NEVER had a case that concerned a woman who was beaten bloody from too much marijuana. I thought we were talking about using the substance for medical use. I agree wholeheartedly for legalization particularly for those with wasting illnesses. Have we not realized that we have lost the “war on drugs” particularly with marijuana?

  • exsquid1948

    We have enough problems with Alcohol, (Drunk driving etc. etc. etc.) Nicotine (Health costs, second hand smoke, etc) and Caffiene (Navy Chief Petty Officers are addicted, etc.) We sure as hell do not need to add another substance to the mix in spite of what the selfish proponents of this bill would have you believe. Just one more addictive substance to add to the human misery index. (And they have the nerve to say it takes them to a happy place. So does hard work and social responsability. Also, if they say it is not addictive; tell them they can insert a cactus in a round hole, posterior, very dark place of their anatomy.)

    • 4204everlegalornot

      uh.. Are people not smoking this because it is not legal? The substance is already in the mix. Oh poo, I am out of rolling papers.

    • J. Gray

      Although your sentiment is appreciated, you have to see the full picture. The pharmaceutical companies are placing thousands of new chemicals into the market at an alarming rate. Accordingly most are not studied for long-term effects because they are brought to market so quickly. This issue is about whether or not someone is allowed to use God-given, natural medicine or whether they will be forced to buy BIG PHARMA DRUGS with all of their nasty side-effects. Plus it would bring us closer to allowing US Farmers to grow industrial Hemp, which may be the most amazing plant in the history of the world. Thousands of uses and grows back every year. We could make ALL of our paper from it and it would grow back every year, as opposed to trees. But really this issue is about Freeing People from Corporate Tyranny and allowing citizens to make their own determinations as to what to put into their bodies. I urge you and everyone to do some research on the issue and spread the word.
      One Planet, One Life. We are all in this together.

    • cmac

      actually alcohol is probably one of the most dangerous substances – alcohol fueled violence is common place, especially in domestic abuse – marijuana related violence ? highly (no pun) unlikely. it is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana, but you can die (and people frequently do esp. teens) from alcohol poisoning. you do not “black out” from marijuana, people “black out” from alcohol all the time. there is no such thing as the “stoned tank”, there is however a drunk tank (ask christina agulera). most opponents who oppose legalization honestly aren’t fully informed about this unprocessed herb which produce useful by products (hemp – which the first american flag was made with). i don’t smoke but know enough about this plant to know it is far less detrimental if at all than alcohol and many of the highly addictive pain med.s that we in the medical field see prescribed. please just make sure you’re fully informed before you decide. it doesn’t have to smoked either for those concerned about respiratory damage.

    • j0oe

      but it will open up more jobs

      • j0oe

        like it wouldopen up more farms

  • Tom Marino

    First of all for all the practical reasons – taxes, free up courts, take some of the power away from drug cartels- it seems ironic to decriminalize marijuana while concurrently ALL BUT criminilizing smoking. If people can’t smoke here there or anywhere, how do you say go ahead and toke up? Secondly, the more imortant reason not to is because unlike tobacco, the effects of marijuana on judgement and actions are so much greater and therefor dangerous, making it readily available makes life that much more dangerous. Do you treat driving while smoking or feeling the aftereffects the same as a cigerrette or alcohol? It’s regulation or deragulation is not as simple as saying “ok” or “NO!”; but ok. . .but “under the influence while “operating heavy machinery” or driving just becomes on more layer to consider and be wary of. And even MORE important, why do we need to allow the “medication” of ourselves to survice or be “ok” necessary? Are we supposed to be all so sad or depondant we should just give up? Now the above does not relate to medical usage. For REAL quality of life issues for those suffering some serious physical/medical issue, thats reasonable. AGAIN, these people better be too infirm to get behind the wheel of a car while still under the influence.

    • keith a

      Millions of people already “toke up” sir. Any intelligent person knows when and where it is ok to “toke up”. It shouild be regulated just like alcohol is. To keep imprisoning US citizens for marijuana crimes is negligent. I as an adult should have the right to smoke it if i chose to. You may like the affects of a few after dinner or work drinks, but many of us do not like the mind and mood altering affects of alcohol. Look at the crime rates that are related to alcohol consumption. I could go on and on about them. You just don’t get that with marijuana use. It may not be for everyone, but leave the people who enjoy it alone. And getting behind the wheel is not recommended while under the influence of ANY drugs or alcohol. Once again common sense. If an individual decides to smoke some to make them “happy” what is wrong with that. All lives may not be as perfect as yours.

  • Rob

    unfortunately this will never happen for several reasons:
    1. Reagan’s war on drugs and D.A.R.E program.
    2. They make more money on it being illegal at tax payers expense.
    3. The drug Cartel Has major influence on our Government.
    4. NHS, AMA, FDA, EPA, DEA, NTC, ATF all have lobbyist fighting to keep it illegal.
    5. National Farmers Association doesn’t want this legal.
    6. The biggie! Cotton industry does not want to see this legalized on any level.
    7. Oil companies don’t want it legalized.
    These are just a few of the many organizations that do not want it legal because then it will cut into their profits. The federal government makes so much money from the tax payers to keep it illegal. It will be lobbied by all groups ever time it comes up for debate. The biggest one is the Cotton industry and the also the Rockefeller family who owns stock in a majority of these companies will not allow it to be legalized. The Rockefeller’s were responsible for the prohibition back in the 20’s Henry Ford made a car that would run on whole grain alcohol and tapped into Rockefeller’s oil control by 25% Once Ford stopped making the cars the prohibition was lifted. Just something to think about. They always run this story as a psychological brain scrambler to get our hopes up but behind the lines it is perpetuated by the lobbyist so that they can get paid from these big businesses to lobby again it is a viscous cycle don’t fall for the hoax.

    • Alan Foos

      In Montana I witnessed the gov attempting to coerce impressionable young people (and they tried with me as well) into using any illegal drug through their employer, including pot, the idea of course being a reverse sting where even without a charge the family’s assets can be confiscated and redistributed locally, I mean everything. That much is fact, NOT conspiracy theory. It has often been claimed that the gov on official levels is active in full scale distribuiton as well and responsible for murders preceded by dire threats. This is not as unlikely as many people would think.



  • Ethan Kavet

    I truly do not see it as ever happening

  • Rod

    If this stuff were legal and taxed, quite a few of the criminal community – gangs and thugs – would out of work, we’d be pay for far less incarceration, and the taxes would help the economy. Didn’t we learn anything form Prohibition?.

  • kite flier

    Do we really need more legal drugs? Maybe what the CT State Legislature should do is lower the penalties for marijuana but decriminalizing it altogether doesn’t sound so smart to me. I have worked jobs where people smoked pot regularly before work. Do we need more of this? People need to learn to enjoy life by reading a book or learning something new. Getting stoned is boring, stupid, and a waste of time. Go for a walk instead, losers.

    • keith

      go drink a bottle of whiskey and throw up on yourself

    • Rob

      how do you know? only losers call the general public losers.

  • concerned citizrn

    FREE up the courts!!
    Tax revs.
    People business will move to CT.
    Drug cartells loose out.

    Sounds like a win win situation

  • FriendWithWeedIsAFriendIndeed

    Legalize it, tax it, and watch how the economy,and job rates go sky high. It would also put a big dent in the drug cartels making money off ganja

  • Kevin

    Pot Tax!

    Do you know how much money the state will get from this?

  • Mike Cook

    Hope they have a plan to have some kind of financial arrangement or else the “powers that be” will not let it pass. NO WAY the state, local, and federal agencies will give up all that money made from arrests without an increase in money. It’s a shame to see it go this far and get “shot down” from lack of planning!

    • but head

      Good point. When you have private companies running prisons it’s a tough sell.

      There is so much wrong with this country. Why do you think everybody wants to get high.

      In my opinion it needs to get a lot worse before america does anything. We need to wait for people to die before we pass bills. We let people get sick before passing regulations. It seems like nobody wants to do a damn thing unless it is absolutely necessary.

      ” I be on my break in 15 minutes ” is the american way !

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