Connecticut marijuana legalization bill sent to governor’s desk after days of heated debate

By Jelena Martinovic

Connecticut is on the verge of becoming the 18th state to legalize recreational marijuana after lawmakers finally passed cannabis reform bill to the governor’s desk Thursday morning, the 50th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s declaration of war on drugs Ned Lamont sent.

The state Senate passed the bill by 16:11 after a debate on a stock admission rule.

Governor Lamont, who previously threatened to veto the eleventh hour change, is now expected to sign the law authorizing the use and possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis by adults aged 21 and over from July 1 legalized. commercial cannabis sales are not expected to begin before May 2022.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

On Tuesday, the Senators approved an amendment tabled by Senator Gary Winfield that would allow individuals with previous cannabis arrests and convictions and their family members to qualify for social justice status when applying for marijuana business licenses.

The Democratic governor protested the change, arguing that it did not adequately address justice issues. The governor’s chief of staff, Paul Mounds Jr., said in a statement that the rule “allows anyone with a history of cannabis crime or a member of their family, regardless of financial means, who has been arrested for simple possession” to be with the equal weight to someone in a neighborhood who has seen many of their friends and loved ones face significant punishment and discrimination because of their past cannabis crimes. “

RELATED: States are most likely to legalize cannabis in 2021

A second Senate amendment reportedly addressed the governor’s concerns by clarifying that only those with an income three times the median state income can qualify for social justice status.

House lawmakers, however, removed the Senate amendments before passing the measure late Wednesday after hours of debate in 76-62 votes, with 13 not voting.

The current bill, originally tabled by House Speaker Matt Ritter and Senate President Martin Looney, now includes a preference for people from low-income communities, as defined by census areas.

RELATED: Montana Prepares for Recreational Cannabis Legalization in 2021

In a statement issued after the vote, Governor Lamont said it was appropriate that cannabis legalization should happen on the anniversary of the war on drugs.

“The war on cannabis, which was essentially a war against the people of Black and Brown communities, has not only caused injustice and greater inequalities in our state, but has done little to protect public health and safety. I look forward to signing the law and overcoming this terrible time of imprisonment and injustice. “

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and was republished with permission.

Post a comment:

Your email address will not be published.