Though It's Legal, Pot Dispensaries Impossible To Find Due To 'NIMBY' Attitudes

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — It’s the ultimate catch-22: the sale of medical marijuana has been legal in Connecticut for two years. There’s just no place to buy it, except from illegal drug dealers.

With its graffiti, boarded-up buildings, street hustlers and people riding off-road vehicles on the sidewalk, East Bridgeport is scary even in the day time. But it’s the only place lymphoma patient Angela Fiorini can buy the medical marijuana she needs to endure chemotherapy.

“I had to go into bad areas to buy it from drug dealers. It’s horrifying,” Fiorini told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer on Friday.

Fiorini, a former 911 operator, is the daughter of a police officer. She said having no legitimate dispensary to get the marijuana she needs to stop the overpowering nausea from her cancer treatments adds to her suffering.

“I won’t take anyone with me, because I don’t want anyone to get hurt. Why take chances on my life being robbed, stabbed, killed and just being terrified? But I know if I don’t do that, I’m going to be a very, very sick person,” Fiorini said.

When Connecticut legalized the sale of medical marijuana two years ago Fiorini got a card from the state authorizing her to buy up to 2.5 ounces a month, but she said the “NIMBY” — not in my backyard – syndrome has been at play.

A plan to build a licensed dispensary in a former library was rejected. Neighbors objected to its proximity to a low-income housing project next door.

Fiorini said a legal dispenser would mean so much, not only to her, but to those who suffer many other diseases, because it would mean, “dealing with a pharmacist, knowing what I’m getting. I don’t know what else is in the street pot, what else I’m putting in my body.”

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said he supports medical marijuana; it’s just difficult to site a dispensary.

“There’s a lot of angst because it is a new experiment. People don’t know what to expect and so when you try to put these shoe horns into a residential neighborhood, where there are people with vulnerabilities anyway, people get anxious,” Finch said.

Backers of the marijuana dispensaries said they haven’t given up the fight. They’re appealing for the right to build.

Fiorini is one of 2,000 people registered with the state who have been approved by doctors to purchase marijuana for medical use, Kramer reported.

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