It took Connecticut nearly two years to start dispensing the medical marijuana the legislature approved for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy and cancer.
But, the program is growing strong since it opened nine months ago. The list of covered conditions is growing and more dispensaries will be popping up to meet the needs of the almost 4,000 enrollees.
Marijuana in medicinal doses can decrease the spasms of MS, diminish seizure activity in epilepsy and lessen the pain in conditions like cancer - and not all strains produce the euphoria we associate with marijuana.
But, it’s hard to erase the 60’s stereotype of marijuana users as “stoners” who just want to get high - even though medical marijuana is lab tested, standardized and dispensed by your pharmacist. It’s a lot more like the pill you take for pain than the “weed” you smoked in college - yet, the stigma remains.
It’s still illegal under federal law - which makes doctors hesitate before ordering it and scientists unable to thoroughly study it.
Today, we talk about Connecticut’s medical marijuana program. How much do you really know about it?
- Jonathan Harris - Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, which oversees Connecticut's Medical Marijuana Program
- Thomas Schultz - President, Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, a medical marijuana producer in Portland, CT
- Geri Ann Bradley - Owner/Pharmacist, The Healing Corner, a medical marijuana dispensary in Bristol, CT
- Kurt Smith - certified to use medical marijuana
John Dankosky is the host of Where We Live. Chion Wolf is the technical producer.