Earlier this month Connecticut held a public hearing to gather testimony from members of the public wishing to expand the list of qualifying conditions for the Connecticut medical marijuana program. After the public hearing, there was an additional period where the public could submit written testimonies and materials. The cutoff for submissions was December 12. The next step will come next month when the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians will review the testimonies and materials to determine what, if any, conditions move forward in the process. Per Yale Daily News:
"We're going to wait to see what the petition process brings in terms of recommendations from the Board of Physicians," Rubenstein said. "Since we're in the process of getting petitions from the public and evaluating additional conditions, I don't want to prejudge the process."
If the board approves these conditions, members must take further steps before the additions become formally recognized. Rubenstein noted that a letter of recommendation must be submitted by the board to the Commissioner of Consumer Protection before another public hearing is held. The motion will be approved only after a regulations review by the general assembly, he said.
Having only just been implemented in September, Connecticut's medical marijuana statute allows for members of the public to request other debilitating conditions be added to the original 11 eligible for medical cannabis. However, other states have similar policies which have already been amended to include additional medical maladies.
This is a process that exists in most medical marijuana states, but there are some states that have yet to establish a process (such as Illinois). I am hopeful that some, if not all, conditions proposed by the public get added to Connecticut's list of qualifying conditions. No patient should have to ever go without medicine. Below are the conditions that currently qualify in Connecticut:
- Positive Status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
- Parkinson's Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
- Wasting Syndrome
- Crohn's Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder