Connecticut: NORML Affiliate To Co-Host Gubernatorial Debate

voteThe Connecticut state chapter of NORML and the Yale University branch of the group Students for Sensible Drug Policy will co-host the inaugural gubernatorial candidate debate of the 2018 governor’s race. Candidates will be asked to weigh in on questions specific to adult use marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform, hemp production, and the state’s current medical marijuana program, among other issues.

Confirmed to appear at the event are: Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), former state Sen. Jonathan Harris (D) of West Hartford and Afghanistan war veteran Micah Welintukonis (R). Organizers are actively reaching out to additional candidates.

The debate is scheduled for Tuesday November 28, 2017, from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at Yale University’s Sheffield Sterling Strathcona, Room 114 at 1 Prospect Street in New Haven. The debate will be moderated Aaron J. Romano, legal advisor for Connecticut NORML and a member of NORML’s Legal Committee. The event will be live-streamed on the Connecticut NORML facebook page here.

Several legislative proposals to regulate the adult use and sale of cannabis in Connecticut were debated during the spring 2017 session. However, momentum for these efforts stalled after Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy publicly expressed his opposition to legalizing cannabis.

According to statewide polling, 63 percent of registered voters favor permitting adults to legally possess personal use quantities of cannabis. When considering new sources of tax revenue in Connecticut, 70 percent of voters support the idea of “legalizing and taxing marijuana.”

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  1. Sounds great, hope to watch. Shame about the gov. Conn. should not take much longer to come online.He needs to listen to the majority of Conn. in support of legalization. Maybe when California comes online some of these states will wake up.

    Disgusting victory by the Republicans today. But I have faith, as the resistence is strong. Thanks, NORML. Hope to watch this.

    CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS, ALL, TO RENEW ON DEC. 8TH! Write protest letters and bombard Sessions with them, while you are at it. I wish more Reps. had bombarded him in his hearing but, again, sincere kudos and hats off/cheers to Rep. Cohen for telling Sessions how it IS. I commend and support Julian’s comments about how desperately we need to act for Dec. 8, although I will say Sessions seemed confronted in his responses the other day, even though he laughed/chuckled at the end. You could see all some young people in the audience chuckling in the back.

    I wish they would laughed him out of the room. That might wake him up. Sigh. But please act, we must for Dec. 8, and Julian is right about Pete Sessions. If anything, today’s GOP victory is scary for the 8th!!



  2. I’m rather suspicious of this “study” blaming oral marijuana consumption on the death of an 11-month-old child;

    Mind that while we can all agree parents should be counceled to prevent their children from being exposed to medibles with high quantities of THC, these doctors wrote in the middle of their publication,

    “The pathogenesis of myocarditis is not fully understood.”

    And then went on to call marijuana a “toxin,” without even mentioning if they tried to isolate any other compounds or medications in the blood besides metabolized THC from “2-6 days ago.”

    I read the paper written by two Denver doctors with the open mind of a very rare disorder in which people’s endocannabinoid systems go out of whack and they say only a hot shower can mitigate the nervous reaction. But people dont die from it and this certainly was not a case of nervous disorders. The doctors diagnose myocarditis, which is when the walls of the heart become inflamed;

    The link above says pediatric myocarditis is typically caused by a viral infection, but the diagnosis was “noninfectious myocarditis.”

    So the next possibilities are medications, chemicals, radiation, or certain diseases.

    I dont see where these doctors researched for any of these results besides trace chemicals. Why not publish that?

    [Paul Armentano responds: The authors of this case report have pushed back against this specious claim:

    “We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child,” said Thomas Nappe, an author of the report who is now the director of medical toxicology at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pa.

    See also:


    RE: cannabis and myocarditis: A search of over 26,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers involving marijuana yield only three individual case-reports: in the world medical literature suggesting any potential link between cannabis exposure and myocarditis, none of which resulted in mortality. By contrast, a 2016 preclinical study suggests that cannabis compounds may represent a potential treatment for the condition:
    Cannabidiol limits Tcell-mediated chronic autoimmune myocarditis

    CBD may represent a promising novel treatment for management of autoimmune myocarditis and possibly other autoimmune disorders, and organ transplantation.”

    FYI: I’m quoted discussing these media reports here:

    “Any purported link between cannabinoid ingestion and myocarditis is, at this point, both premature and speculative,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, a nonprofit marijuana legalization advocacy group.]

    1. Thank you Paul for your commitment to this vital work. As Carl Bernstein eloquently said on Real Time with Bill Maher recently “Our society is missing context. Facts aren’t just lined up in a string, we need context.”
      It amazes me how some doctors can publish “studies” with so little data and a crapload of insinuation. I’m relieved this study was debunked… by the very doctors who promoted the marijuana propaganda to begin with no less… but they got paid, the damage is done, so what do they care?
      What pisses me off about these two doctors is they made out with this “absolutely not blaming marijuana” spiel when if we read the link to their original report thats absolutely what they did.
      There should be laws against this kind of dangerous, even lethal propganda. Because as I surmised… and Im no doctor… CBD is treatment for Myocarditis!!!

      [Paul Armentano responds: Agreed. The authors of this paper want to have it both ways. They wrote up the abstract in some of the most sensationalist ways possible and then they blame the media for sensational reporting. Also, either they or their institution had to promote this paper to the press, as this is an obscure journal and they case in question is from 2015.]

      1. Nappe and Hoyte are so full of $#!+ they don’t need a cardiologist for clarity they need a proctologist to pull their greedy heads out of their own @$$e$;

        I’m becoming more convinced there are devious kickback$ at work here with these quacks. Listen to them;
        “This occurrence should justify consideration of urine drug screening for cannabis in pediatric patients presenting with myocarditis of unknown etiology in areas where cannabis is widely used.”

        Ok, so theyre getting paid by private insurance to promote piss testing babies for marijuana, which is subsidized by the government, which means we pay for the tests. Lovely.

        Particularly what sets off a red flag is when they mention dronabinol, or marinol in their “case study,” but I’m having trouble finding the version where they mention that again. I’ll keep digging.

        We need to dig up Hoyte and Nappe’s links to Abvie incorporated and yank their licences. I’m too pissed off to talk to them, but here’s Nappe’s email;

        Here’s a disclosure after their conclusion of “cannabis-associated-cardiotoxicity”;

        “Conflicts of Interest: By the CPC-EM article submission agreement, all authors are required to disclose all affiliations, funding sources and financial or management relationships that could be perceived as potential sources of bias. The authors disclosed none.“

        Really? I’d like to see their taxes.

      2. And did you notice how they tried to downplay the baby had tylenol in his serum?

        “(THC-COOH) and undetectable serum acetaminophen and salicylate concentrations,” they say. If it’s “undetectable” why is it in their report? Talk about deceitful language!

        Tylenol has a huge warning on the box that says

        “NSAIDs (especially at high doses) can increase your blood pressure and increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke.“

        Why didn’t they write THAT into their soundbytes repeatedly and falsely linking the words “toxic” and “marijuana”?!

        And thats perhaps the worst media spin they got outta this crappy report. Marijuana is NON toxic. Among the most non toxic substances “known to man.” Where have we heard that before?

        Oh yeah;

        NORML took scheduling of marijuana to court back in 1989 when DEA Judge Francis Young said it would take approximately “1500 lbs” of smoked marijuana consumed in 15 minutes to kill a man.

        A baby can die swallowing less than a bottle of tylenol.

        Prescription meds annual deaths? 100,000+ and rising.

        Marijuana? Still ZERO.

        These guys should get sued for medical malpractice and misdiagnosis.

        Put that in your pipes and smoke it Hoyte and Nappe! Only thing toxic here is your paid propaganda so private insurance can piss test our babies and sell them synthetic poison off our tax dollar. We’re not buying it.

      3. That whole story, and the sensationalist headline, seemed kinda fishy to me, too. It’s like they were EXCITED to see a cannabis overdose, couldn’t wait to tell everyone that someone had overdosed from pot. As you and Paul Armentano point out, they are playing pretty loosely with facts here. (Hmm, sort of like Sessions’ warnings about pot.)

      4. And I linked Sessions to HealthSouth and CVS Caremark which produced the lethal drug depakote prescribed for epilepsy. They donated to Sessions throughout his career in the Senate. And with all the law suits these dirty companies had every inventive to support Sessions rise to Attorney General, the person in charge of prosecuting these legal assassins.

        It’s ridiculous how easy it is to take any sensationalized report condemning marijuana and find a private insurance/pharmaceutical kickback either from campaign donations at opensecrets or from the greedy synthetic drug commercials in the source of the propaganda itself.

        It’s true; the United States government in its own way is just as corrupt as Russia; corporations legalize bribery.

  3. How can whole plant cannabis be associated with “cardiotoxicity” when CBD and omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory? Could it be a prexisting weakness in the wall of the heart that becomes inflammed by dialation from certain cannabinoids? This “study” doesn’t show they even looked for any of that during the autopsy. It should be illegal to write a cause of death without conducting a complete autopsy.

    The most concerning part was this; “Autopsy findings in this patient were consistent with noninfectious myocarditis as a cause of death. The histological findings of myocyte necrosis with mature lymphocytic mixed cellular infiltrate are consistent with drug-induced, toxic myocarditis. The presence of THC metabolites in the patient’s urine and serum, most likely secondary to ingestion, is the only uncovered risk factor in the etiology for his myocarditis. This is highly unlikely attributable to passive exposure.”

    Only? The ONLY uncovered risk factor? Prove it! Somebody make these doctors prove their work!

    The study reads like a forced excuse to call marijuana “toxic.”

    This next “study”

    Doesn’t even show any evidence at all that claims that no cases of myocarditis were never found in patients taking “synthetic marijuana” in the form of drabinol. (Guess what theyre selling…)

    Can we DO that? Just say something, be a doctor, no evidence, just slap it up on PubMed and call it a “study?”

    1. Correction; that second study was trying to coorelate cardiotoxicity and marijuana consumption, not myocarditis directly. Thats important because the first study is based off the second study. And its all empty rooms with no evidence.


        And that was the study I was looking for (in my own link, Jeez)… that says;

        “The observation that cardiotoxicity has never been reported in cancer patients taking dronabinol, the synthetic form of THC, tends to suggest that animal studies may have overstated the cardiovascular risk, which is probably comparable to that of smoking cigarettes.”

        Being that Nappe & Hoyte based their propaganda off this mountain of bull$#!+ trying to connect cardiotoxicity to nontoxic marijuana, the suspicious little halo thats placed on Dronabinol, or synthetic THC, set me on this bonanza of research;

        The patent to Dronabinol (marinol) was purchased by none other than Insys Therapeutics! Remember them? The makers of fentanyl that dumped half a mil to stop Arizona from legalizing? I had forgotten it was their purchase of pending synthetic marijuana along with reports that opioid use decreases in legal marijuana states that made them blatantly oppose legalization in 2016.

        While this abstract was published by Karch in 2006, its the study Nappe & Hoyte base their studies on.

        Wanna know who funded these nutjobs to push their propaganda to the press? Check the paper trail to our good enemies at Insys Therapuetics, the kings of kickback$…

  4. For one thing, I am sick and tired of so-called Democrats undermining legalization efforts. These unhelpful types may claim to be political “centrists,” but this can’t be true, since this is not a move toward the middle of any political spectrum, but rather, a move to placate Corrupt Corporate Influence.

    So, secondly, follow the money. When Democratic candidates stall and equivocate on marijuana legalization, follow the hush money, and find out who’s paying them to throw the game to the opposing team! Democrats who want “more time” or “more studies” need to have their ulterior motives clearly exposed.

    1. To elaborate on my point, both Gov. Malloy and Aresimowicz are Democrats. It is disingenuous to oppose legalizing it for financial reasons, when Capital (money and greed) is the sole agent of opposition to legalization. Democrats like this are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are NOT part of The Resistance. Treat them like Republicans, and get rid of them. Don’t let them ride the 2018 Democratic wave, or we’re fucked again!

      From the Hartford Courant:
      One of the biggest obstacles has been opposition by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has said repeatedly that he did not favor legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Lawmakers would have needed a two-thirds vote in both chambers to override a potential Malloy veto.

      Advocates say legalizing and taxing marijuana could raise millions in additional revenue for a state that is facing a projected deficit of $1.7 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

      But other top lawmakers said that the tax argument was not persuasive. “I wouldn’t want to pass recreational marijuana in the state of Connecticut simply because of fiscal reasons, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said Wednesday.

      1. The real battle is not between Democrats and Republicans, or even liberals versus conservatives. The real battle is between the haves and the have-notes, that is, between The People and the Oligarchs (corrupt money.)

      2. Fucking spellcheck is for shit! Worthless Korporate Krap.

        That should read “have-nots” above.

      3. We know what you mean, Mark! 🙂

        Cant wait for the updated Congressional scorecard. We can start vetting our candidates through email to see if they support marijuana policies that reflect NORML agendas.

  5. Excellent reporting , NORML.
    Thank you for keeping us updated.

    Key Question:

    What is the realistic threshold at which those who oppose would accept legalized cannabis?

    – would it be some $ amount of revenue/taxes?

    – might it be when the market value hit, say 2% of national debt?

    The end result, is while many hate freedom, many hate others having fun, and there are those who currently benefit from its illegality-
    some, in theory trump and some of those in his camp, -jeff,
    who’s bias seems to be almost money related-
    and therefore might be remedied with enough economic incentive.

    Taxes + Reduction in Support Costs (- minus there ridiculous concepts of additional costs required)

    how much money might tip the scales?

    CO has seen a huge boon,
    and with CA about to ignite
    then the money that has been seen
    is nothing like what could actually be realized
    if ~100% of sales were actually legal and taxed.

    (as compared to alcohol, a very high percentage of sales are taxed)

    1. Ben, wake up. Trump is deliberately fucking America, and it ain’t no accident! So just stop trying to protect your boy Trump… He’s going down! Save yourself, get as far away from the goddamn Trumpanzees as possible! Unless you have no integrity…

  6. BYW, Congratulations to Connecticut NORML and to all the NORML members nation wide that inevitably find their path crossed with a successful political career. Our diligent research and devotion to contextualizing the facts prepares us for the candidacy of representing our communities. Let’s keep up the good work.

    With that said, the reports pour in as the Denver authors of cannabis causing myocarditis backtrack. Keywords; “associated” does not mean “causes” (even though it implies), and even though the “case report” read like a refer madness documentary they emphasize marijuana did “NOT” cause this baby’s death.

    If anything, the omega 3s and CBD in the medible this child ate may have prolonged his life and made his death less painful for the child and the parents by reducing inflammation in the heart and reducing seizures throughout the nervous system. Instead of scrutinizing and stigmatizing these parents for giving their child their last desperate measure for medicine they should take comfort they provided their baby the best relief available in American society today.

    1. It was NORML founder and legal councel Keith Stroup who cleverly invited Alexis Bortell to lobby her Congressman during NORML lobby Day in September. The Judge denied her injunction to bring her medicine, but granted her trial against Session on the merits. As someone who met Alexis back in Feb. 2015 speaking in front of the SWCannabis Expo I can tell you THIS girl can draw the truth for a jury.

      You can follow the case here;

      Here is a link with a legal explanation for the case;

      “Seeking to overturn the 2005 Supreme Court decision in Gonzales v. Raich, plaintiffs request a declaration that the CSA, as it pertains to the classification of Cannabis as a Schedule I drug, is unconstitutional, because it violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, an assortment of protections guaranteed by the First Amendment, and the fundamental Right to Travel. Further, plaintiffs seek a declaration that Congress, in enacting the CSA as it pertains to marijuana, violated the Commerce Clause, extending the breadth of legislative power well beyond the scope contemplated by Article I of the Constitution.

      Named as defendants in the case are Attorney General Jeff Beauregard Sessions, Acting Administrator of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg, the Justice Department, the DEA and the Federal Government.

      In their Complaint, plaintiffs allege that the federal government does not, and could not possibly, believe that Cannabis meets the definition of a Schedule I drug.”

      “Among the other claims in the lawsuit are that the CSA: (i) was enacted and implemented in order to discriminate against African Americans and to suppress people’s First Amendment rights; and (ii) violates plaintiffs’ constitutional Right to Travel.“

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