Democrats and Republicans Unite to Reject Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee
The vote by the general law committee was considered the best chance for a legal marijuana bill to make it out of a legislative committee for consideration by the General Assembly.
The general law committee was deeply split with strong remarks on both sides for and against recreational marijuana before the measure was defeated.
The vote was a setback to advocates because the bill had been purposely steered to the general law committee this year in a change of strategy as the House co-chairman, Rep. Michael D’Agostino, was an advocate for legalization. The other two co-chairs, Sen. Carlo Leone of Stamford and Sen. Kevin Witkos of Canton, also voted in favor. But most of the rest of the committee ignored the views of the three co-chairmen and rejected the bill.
No Connecticut legislative committee has ever voted in favor of legalization, and the matter has failed during the past two years without any formal votes.
Leone, a Stamford Democrat, said the process is a long way from over because four different committees are considering various aspects of marijuana legalization. The general law committee focused only on certain aspects of the bill, including that it would allow the growing of six plants per individual and 12 plants per household.
“We did not try to tackle the legality of it,’’ Leone told fellow committee members. “We did not try to tackle the morality of it. … There’s still a ways to go.’’
But Leone told committee members that Connecticut should take action now because Massachusetts voters approved legalization of marijuana and the product is expected to be legally available there later this year.
“If we don’t confront