Push to expand medical marijuana in Connecticut

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s five-year-old medical marijuana law may soon be expanded to cover more illnesses and conditions.

Approximately 3,500 patients, adults and children, in New Haven County alone are approved and using medical marijuana. Over 15,000 state-wide are using it for 22 serious conditions; including cancer, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, and Cerebral Palsy.

This week, there will be a move to expand it to seven more ailments like; Eczema, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.

On Wednesday, the Board of Physicians recommended the following be added and not added to the list of conditions:

Atopic Dematitis, Eczema: No (for adults)

Muscular Distrophy: Yes (for adults & minors)

Fibromyalgia: Yes, but only with neuropathic pain and/or spasticity (for adults)

Osteroarthritis: No

Post Herpetic Neuralgia, Peripheral Neuropathy and Allodynia from Shingles: Yes, but recommended to add as “Post Herpetic Neuralgia” (for adults)

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Yes but recommended to add as “Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis” (for adults)

Severe COPD/Emphysema: No

Jonathan Harris, the Commissioner of the State Department of Consumer Protection, the agency that oversees the medical marijuana program, said that the program is gaining more acceptance.

The program is maturing at a deliberate and a thoughtful rate but that it’s gaining more and more acceptance among patients and among the medical community.”

Public comment on this expansion begins tomorrow before a board of eight physician specialists from around the state. They make a recommendation to the Consumer Protection Commissioner who then can propose the change to a state legislative oversight committee which must give final approval. Adds Harris, “They’re coming from the public, they’re coming from people who are suffering from these very serious conditions..So you’re looking at a solid year, plus or minus, for any of this to occur.”

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