Legislative Committee Will Consider Bill Legalizing Marijuana Thursday
The idea’s been floated before, but recreational marijuana’s backers have so far been unable to convince the Land of Steady Habits to legalize a new one.
The legislature’s General Law Committee will weigh a new bill legalizing the retail sale of marijuana at a public hearing. The hearing, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed until Thursday because of the snowstorm.
The bill, No. 5458, would allow people 21 or older to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana from a retailer or “marijuana lounge,” where customers would smoke or consume their purchase on-site. Anyone 21 or older would also be allowed to grow up to six plants for personal use.
In the past, legislative leaders and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have opposed proposals to legalize marijuana in Connecticut, despite other New England states legalizing its recreational use. When he presented his budget this year, Malloy listed legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana as an “option” if legislators opposed his proposals for raising new revenue.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz called legalizing marijuana “one of those tough crossover issues that brings both a social and economic aspect with it,” but said that, given a growing segment of the state supports its legal use, it’s one the legislature should address.
“With a number of states in the region having either already approved legalization and regulation, or are trending this way, it’s clearly something that deserves to be looked at,” Aresimowicz, a Democrat, said. “There is also a growing momentum here based on Connecticut’s highly successful medical marijuana program and decriminalization policy that has been in place for a few years now.”
In submitted testimony, West Haven resident Christopher Brown asked lawmakers to “please be on the right side of history and do what’s right for our state.”
“No one should lose