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Connecticut Takes a Step Closer to Legalizing Weed

Lawmakers in Connecticut on Tuesday authorized an expense that might lead the way for cannabis legalization in the state– however time is going out.

The legislation hardly lost consciousness of the state Senate, with a narrow vote of 19-17 in favor sending it to the state House.

But as the CT Mirror put it, it stays “unclear if the House had the votes, time or inclination to attempt final passage before the constitutional deadline of midnight Wednesday, a task that grew more difficult Monday with concerns over attempted favoritism on licensing growers.”

The Mirror reported that the fate of the much awaited costs hung in the balance deep into Monday.

“Only the vote cast by a retired police officer, Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, saved the Senate from needing Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz to break a tie. Six Democrats voted with the other 11 Republicans in opposition,” the Mirror reported.

“But for 11 minutes after the debate ended and voting began, passage was unclear. The tally was 16-16, with four Democrats missing: Steve Cassano of Manchester, Douglas McCrory of Hartford, Patricia Billie Miller of Stamford and Marilyn Moore of Bridgeport. Moore voted yes, making the tally 17-16 after nearly eight minutes. McCrory, who was furious at the Senate for striking a provision he wanted, cast a yes vote three minutes later, pushing the vote to 18-16 in favor. Miller, who said she long had been opposed to legalization, cast the 19th yes vote. The victory assured, Cassano cast a final no vote.”

In line with other states that have actually currently authorized legalization procedures, the costs gone by the Connecticut senate would make it legal for grownups 21 and older to purchase and have cannabis.

The brand-new law would work at the start of next year, with the managed market anticipated to open later on in 2022.

With members of the Connecticut House up versus a tight due date– and the legislature plainly divided on the concern– legalization supporters might discover themselves waiting another year prior to restriction ends in the state.

Lawmakers in Connecticut Are the Biggest Allies

One such supporter is the state’s guv, Ned Lamont, who used his State of the State address in February to push for legalization.

“Now our neighboring states are offering recreational marijuana on a legal and regulated basis,” Lamont said at the time. “Massachusetts dispensaries are advertising extensively here in Connecticut. And, rather than surrender this market to out-of-staters, or worse, to the unregulated underground market, our budget provides for the legalization of recreational marijuana.”

Lamont, a Democrat, kept in mind that the extra profits would “go to distressed communities, which have been hardest hit by the war on drugs.”

“Half the tax revenues should be allocated to PILOT payments, in addition to a three percent local excise tax option. And importantly, my proposed legislation authorizes the automated erasure of criminal records for those with marijuana-related drug possession, convictions, and charges,” he stated.

Later that month, Lamont introduced a bill to be taken up by the legislature.

The legalization effort in Connecticut has actually been marked by fits and starts. In 2019, Lamont andNew York Gov Andrew Cuomo started a cross-state legalization policy.

But while New York has actually advanced, passing a legalization costs previously this year, Connecticut might discover itself among the last staying northeastern holdouts. It was something Lamont telegraphed in his State of the State address last year, when he as soon as again contacted the state to legislate it.

“Like it or not, legalized marijuana is a short drive away in Massachusetts and New York is soon to follow,” statedLamont “Coordinated regional regulation is our best chance to protect public health by displacing illicit sellers with trusted providers.”

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