Huge Crowd Packs Medical Marijuana Hearing

The Dept. of Consumer Protection must determine regulations surrounding the distribution of medical marijuana.

State officials are accepting testimony from the public on proposed regulations for Connecticut's new medical marijuana law.

There was standing room only at Monday's hearing at the Department of Consumer Protection.

"These illnesses are terrible, the drugs are even works and I found that the drugs kept me in bed," said Tracy Shimer, a brain cancer patient. She testified medical marijuana has added to her quality of life.

Investors interested in distributing the drug were also in attendance.

"I'm here today to apply to become a producer/grower to help patients in the State of Connecticut and really kind of set the trend for the nation," Wesley Eder of New Haven said.

Drug abuse activists also in attendance expressed concern about the possible diversion of medical marijuana for recreational use and advertisements targeting youth.

Advocates argued against that notion.

"I wanted to come here to say to you that these rules and regulations you're setting up - I promise you as a patient - we will not let you down. We will follow them," Shimer said. "And the doctors that you're entrusting, they will do their jobs."

The Department of Consumer Protection is expected to submit the final regulations to the General Assembly by July 1.

The program was signed into law by Gov. Dannel Malloy last year after the legislature passed it. Connecticut joined 17 other states and Washington, D.C. ,in legalizing marijuana for medical uses.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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