Senator tours South Windsor medical marijuana dispensary in ligh - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Senator tours South Windsor medical marijuana dispensary in light of laws

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Sen Murphy meets with medical marijuana patients - Sen Murphy meets with medical marijuana patients -
SOUTH WINDSOR, CT (WFSB/AP) -

Sen. Chris Murphy visited a medical marijuana business and met with patients who use the drug on Monday morning.

Connecticut is one of 23 states that allow medical marijuana, and Murphy heard from people at Prime Wellness in South Windsor, who said its made a big difference for them.

"This product at this dispensary here has helped save my eyesight, and my physicians records prove it," said Gary Pozzato, who has glaucoma.

The patients told Murphy that many doctors are still not recommending medical marijuana, and unlike prescriptions, they have to pay for it on their own.

Murphy said he wants the federal government to reclassify marijuana from a 'Class 1' drug to a 'Class 2.' He said that would allow research and open the door for insurance coverage.

"Federal government has to catch up with how states are. The fact is there are thousands patients in Connecticut whose lives have been transformed by finally getting access to a drug that makes their condition better," Murphy said.

According to Murphy, more than 9,300 people in the state are registered for medical marijuana use for a variety of health problems including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

Klaus Polttila had a spinal cord injury and has been in a lot of pain. The pills he was prescribed caused damage to his organs but he has found marijuana to be more gentle and has helped him be able to work again.

"It will take some people a longer time to come around to this way of thinking and treatment, but in the end, when you see people you know and love suffering and you see the relief this product can offer, I think that will change a lot of people's minds," Polttila said.

The number of doctors recommending medical marijuana has more than doubled but many are still hesitant.

Prime Wellness of Connecticut is one of six state-approved dispensaries.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.