Connecticut’s incoming Governor Ned Lamont (D) said on Monday that he plans to make marijuana legalization a top priority in 2019.
“It’s going to be one of the priorities we got,” said Lamont when asked about marijuana legalization. “It’s something I would support, and I don’t want the black market controlling marijuana distribution in our state. I think that’s a lousy way to go. Canada, Massachusetts, others are doing it”.
Lamont noted that “That’s going to lead to some enforcement things. In the meantime, we enforce Connecticut laws.”
The Connecticut Democratic Party has passed a resolution making the legalization of marijuana – and the prison release of nonviolent drug offenders – an official party platform.
At the Party’s annual convention last week a majority of the over 1,900 delegates in attendance approved making marijuana legalization an official party platform (one of around 30).
The platform reads: “The time for legalization of Marijuana has come. Doing so will raise revenue, which can be used to benefit those suffering from the disease of addiction to prescription pain medications and other opioids.” The resolution states that “Connecticut should follow “Best Practice” for other states to detect and prevent impaired driving. However, this is not enough. We must immediately move towards early release of non-violent drug offenders, starting with the incaracated for Marijuana offenses.”
A joint committee in Connecticut has given approval to legislation that would legalize marijuana.
House Bill 5394 was passed today by Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Appropriations in a 27 to 24 vote. The measure would allow those 21 and older to possess and purchase marijuana, with commissioners of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Consumer Protection and Revenue Services tasked with developing regulations for possession and retail sales.
“This committee vote reiterates what most Connecticut residents already know: it is time to make marijuana legal for adults,” said Becky Dansky, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The discussions that have taken place in the legislature this year have provided more than enough information to effectively move forward with legalization. Connecticut should stop punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol, and it has an opportunity to regulate marijuana before it starts losing tax revenue to other states in the region that have already started this process.”
The legalization of marijuana has been included as part of a larger budget bill released today by Connecticut Democrats.
Democratic leaders have included marijuana legalization in a large budget bill released today. Supporters of the provision – which includes Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney (D) – say it will bring in much-needed tax revenue to the state, which is facing a projected budget gap of roughly $5 billion.
Although the provision is being championed by Democrats, legalization also has Republican support, including Representative Melissa Ziobron, ranking House Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.
Connecticut Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney (D-New Haven) has filed a bill to legalize cannabis. A separate bill that would also legalize cannabis has been filed in the state’s House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 11 would allow those 21 and older to legally possess and use cannabis. Modeled after Colorado’s Amendment 64, it would establish a system of regulated and taxed cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers. The measure is in the Joint Committee on Judiciary.
“I would urge us to adopt that broad based legalization and also have a tax structure similar to Colorado which generates significant revenue for the state General Fund,” says Looney.