The push to allow for the retail sale of marijuana in Connecticut moves to a public hearing in the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee on Monday. Two other legislative committees heard testimony on the matter last week.

Representative Steven Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, a member of the Judiciary Committee, says the hearing will also focus on ways to remedy the War on Drugs’ negative effects on the state’s African-American and Latino communities. “And then how do we expunge the records of folks who unfortunately fell victim to this War on Drugs that we’ve fought for too long and in the wrong manner?”

Last week the Finance and General Law Committees heard testimony on taxing and regulating the retail sale of marijuana. They also heard about allowing for the personal growth and recreational use of marijuana by individuals 21 years or older and the regulation of hemp as an agricultural product.

Advocates say there is an urgency to change Connecticut’s laws because the legal retail sale of marijuana begins in Massachusetts in July. That means Connecticut residents will soon be able to cross the border and legally purchase marijuana products depriving Connecticut of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

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