Connecticut Medical Marijuana Push Makes Huge Gains as Voters, Lawmakers Back MMJ

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Could Connecticut become the 17th state to adopt favorable medical marijuana laws? It sure looks that way.

The two most important groups for MMJ efforts – lawmakers and voters – are showing strong support for medical cannabis in Connecticut, making it more likely that the state will pass some type of marijuana legislation this year.

On Wednesday, the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that would allow adults to use medical marijuana once obtaining a recommendation from a doctor. The bill calls for the licensing and regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries to distribute the drug to patients.

A whopping 35 committee members voted in favor of the legislation vs. just 8 that cast votes against it. The bill now moves to the House for further consideration.

Connecticut passed a similar MMJ bill several years ago, but the governor at the time – a Republican – vetoed the legislation. The state’s current governor – a Democrat – has supported medical marijuana issues in the past, so he is expected to sign the legislation if lawmakers give it the go-ahead.

Cannabis advocates received more good news yesterday when Quinnipiac University released a poll showing that 70% of voters in Connecticut think it is a “good idea” to allow adults to use medical marijuana. That matches, and even exceeds, the level of support in states that already have MMJ laws on the books. What’s more, roughly half of Republican voters in the state favor the idea, meaning medical marijuana has solid backing from a group that traditionally opposes MMJ.

Here’s a breakdown of the responses to the study:

There is a proposal in the state legislature that would allow adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Good idea            68%    51%    75%    71%    69%    67%
Bad idea             27     46     21     23     28     27
DK/NA                 4      2      5      5      3      6