Connecticut is running a media blitz to entice state doctors to participate in the medical marijuana program. The agency running the program is reaching out to the 7,000 doctors in the Connecticut State Medical Society to address the lack of information and the stigma attached to marijuana and have them participate and be able to prescribe the drug to the increasing number of registered patients.
There are only 222 doctors participating and the program has double the size from where it was last October when the first of the state’s six dispensaries began to supply marijuana from the four producers. Commissioner Jonathan Harris of the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) said that there’s “a sign of steady progress” in the medical marijuana program. The outreach program to the doctors aims to tear down some barriers and provide comfort that they are not going to get into any kind of trouble if they participate.
Ken Ferrucci, senior vice president of policy and governmental affairs for the Connecticut State Medical Society, admits that they are cautious and have no official reaction to the outreach by the DCP. “We wanted to make certain physicians were free to participate without prosecution”, he said. The medical society did not support the medical marijuana bill but “the longer the program is in existence, the more willing physicians will participate, providing there is no legal action or enforcement.” Ferrucci added.
Medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but the U.S. Justice Department has said it will not prosecute those who are complying with the laws in their state.