Hearing on legalizing recreational marijuana to be held in Hartford
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A hearing in Hartford Thursday could bring the state one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana. The pot debate got postponed by Tuesday’s storm.
What lawmakers have to decide is whether the problems associated with marijuana use outweigh all the money the state stands to make from legalizing pot.
Right now there are nine marijuana dispensaries in Connecticut. To go into one, you have to first go to a certain doctor who is licensed to prescribe pot, and you have to have one of twenty or so specific illnesses such as cerebral palsy or cystic fibrosis. That’s how it is now.
This proposal would completely change that. It would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to purchase it, use it, even grow a few plants of it. The reason the state is looking at this is…if you sell it, you can tax it, and the state needs money. One estimate says the state could make more than 60 million dollars a year.
Opponents argue that you have to look at the overall cost, things like the health effects of long term marijuana use, and the increase in traffic accidents from people getting high and getting behind the wheel.
Could this actually get through the legislature? It is possible, and then the question becomes, would Governor Malloy actually sign it? He used to oppose the idea completely. There are indications that stance may be softening.
If you want to speak out, that hearing starts at 10 a.m. Thursday morning at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
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