If Connecticut had voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana this year, would 77 overdoses have occurred on the Green within a day from a bad batch of synthetic pot known as K2?
Connecticut’s chapter of NORML believes not.
Its board chair made that argument in the following release:
Connecticut NORML extends their wishes for a speedy recovery to those who overdosed on the New Haven Green from ingesting synthetic cannabinoids. The sad fact is that these overdoses could have been prevented by the legalization and regulation of cannabis.
This past legislative term, bills were introduced that would have legalized and regulated cannabis in Connecticut. The proposed bills would have ensured that the adult citizens of Connecticut had safe access to cannabis. Although 71% of Connecticut residents support legalization, these bills never made it out of committee.
What we witnessed on Wednesday resulted from people who purchased what they thought would mimic the high from cannabis, but was actually plant material sprayed with toxic chemicals. Synthetic cannabinoids are not cannabis. These overdoses are reminiscent of those poisonings 100 years ago during alcohol prohibition when people, denied safe access to alcohol, died from ingesting wood alcohol or bathtub gin. While ingestion of the cannabis plant may produce an intoxicating effect, the DEA’s own website acknowledges that there has been no report of any overdose in recorded history.
This year, our lawmakers ignored the will of the people when they failed to legalize cannabis. The bills before them would have regulated cannabis just as alcohol is now regulated. This working model would have provided our citizens with safe, regulated cannabis and would have ultimately undermined and eradicated the dangerous street market.
We hope that our legislators make legalization of cannabis for adult use a priority in the coming term, for the safety of the community, and because it is the will of the people. Connecticut NORML is a branch of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws. NORML has been in existence since 1972 and has advocated for the legalization and regulation of cannabis. We represent the 27,000 registered patients in the medical cannabis program and the 71% of residents who support legalization.
In November, we will be voting for candidates who support this issue.
Aaron J. Romano, Esq.
Counsel for CT NORML
CT NORML Board of Directors