HB 5450 An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana is official!
On January 29, 2016, we met with State Senator Terry Gerratana and State Representative Matt Ritter, the co-chairs of the Public Health Committee, about a Bill proposal. After speaking with them they showed a very positive interest in the Bill, but explained that it would not be exclusive to Epilepsy; other medical conditions would be addressed, which was fine with me. Then on Sunday, February 14, 2016, Jonathan A. Harris, Commissioner of Consumer Protection, contacted us and after making a few changes to it he explained that the Bill could not be called “Cannabis Oil for Children.” We were just happy to have a Bill, so we accepted the name they chose, and the following was introduced:
House Bill 5450 - AN ACT CONCERNING THE PALLIATIVE USE OF MARIJUANA.
Honestly, we learned a lot that year about how to make a bill come to fruition, it is a long and tedious process, with five steps. So, after months of going through the legislative process, the end of the 2016 session was coming to an end, that was on Friday, April 29, 2016.
We are proud to say we were at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford on Friday, April 29, 2016. We went inside at 1:30 p.m. and actually briefly spoke to Governor Malloy and explained why we were there. We requested to be invited when he signed the bill and I told him my mind was made up: the bill would pass. I went into the Senate chambers around 2:30 p.m., watching our political system in play, again, my mind was made up the Bill would pass.
The actual session started at 5:50 p.m. and we kept on top of everything. Around 7:00 p.m. I left for dinner. The cafeteria was closed so I had to walk three blocks to a Subway that is takeout only, picked up my food, come back to eat on top of a skid in the hallway. One guy said: "You picked a good spot to eat."
HB 5450 was brought up at 8:08 p.m. and I just followed every moment of it, feeling everything from admiration, interest, disgust, fortitude, and perseverance, because I believed the bill would pass. Then finally at 11:43 p.m. HB 5450 passed. Although this bill was not exclusive to us for me to say I was feeling ecstatic, elated and damn proud is an understatement. The bottom line is it felt so good that we were able to make this come to fruition and then pass. The 3-hours and 35 minutes ran very long but truly worth it.