CT: Marijuana Legalization “Off The Table” At Legislative Session

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Photo Credit: Stanimir G. Stoeve

Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in Connecticut will need to wait at least another year before seeing it become law.

Legislative leadership said the issue is “off the table” with only one day left in the legislative session.

Supporters of the bill say ending prohibition on pot would brings tens of millions of dollars into the state’s coffers and create thousands of jobs but acknowledged it did not have enough support this year.

“I think it’s a shame because it’s broadly popular in Connecticut,” said Rep. Matt Lesser (D-100th District). “I think we can find a way to do it safely and make sure we’re regulating the use. We’re seeing lots of economic activity going to our neighboring state of Massachusetts.”

Lesser introduced the bill in the House this session. New Haven State Representative Juan Candelaria  (D-95th District) also supported the legislation.

‘We still haven’t done a budget,” said Candelaria, who has supported legalizing marijuana for four years now. “There’s other policies we need to get through the House so I don’t think we’re going to see it this year unless we pick it up at a special session.”

Lawmakers opposing the legislation say the more colleagues learned about all that needs to go into creating the industry, the less support it received.

“The conversation didn’t revolve around revenue,” said vocal opponent Rep. Vincent Candelora (R-86th District) . “ I think ultimately when the day was done, people realized this move was not the best for the state of Connecticut.”

Massachusetts is set to begin selling commercial marijuana on July 1st.

Both sides say they expect the issue to re-emerge next session.

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