After seven hours of debate, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted 96-51 in favor of medical marijuana, moving the New England state one step closer to establishing a medical marijuana program.

Though some lawmakers expressed fear of the possible risk of federal prosecution that medical marijuana dispensaries could face, it is hard to deny that the measure passed overwhelmingly. In addition, Connecticut’s governor, Dannel P. Malloy, has already expressed his support for the possibility of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.

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As for how the bill is written, the Norwich Bulletin has the following details:

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…the patient, caregiver, dispensaries and all entities are exempt from prosecution under state law, according to the bill.

Under the legislation, doctors could prescribe marijuana to patients who suffer from certain specified illnesses such as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Qualifying patients and their primary caregivers would be able to possess a combined one-month supply of marijuana, but the bill does not spell out what form the drug would be.

Patients and their caretakers would need to register with the Department of Consumer Protection, which would cost up to $25 for each registration. The registration would be confidential.

Additionally, the bill would limit medical marijuana prescriptions to a one-year supply and require all drug manufacturing and distribution to be done in Connecticut. The marijuana would be banned in public places, moving vehicles, school grounds and in the presence of a minor, among other situations.

From here, the legislation will next face a Connecticut Senate that reports indicate may not be as kind to the bill. Still, it appears that medical marijuana in Connecticut could be a reality sooner rather than later.

Will Connecticut be the next state to approve of medical marijuana?