Connecticut House Approves Marijuana Legalization With Amendments, Sending Bill Back To Senate

MJ moment

Legislation to legalize cannabis in Connecticut passed the state’s House of Representatives on a 76–62 vote on Wednesday following hours of floor debate. The measure now returns to the Senate for approval of changes made by the House to address a last-minute veto threat from Gov. Ned Lamont (D). If the Senate signs off on the revisions and Lamont indeed signs the bill into law, possession of marijuana by adults 21 and older would become legal on July 1. Commercial sales could begin as soon as May of next year, though the legislation does not specify an exact start date. The Senate is expected to take up the amended bill on Thursday during a floor session scheduled for 9:30 AM. “Connecticut’s time has finally come,” Rep. Steven Stafstrom (D) said ahead of the House vote. “Today we take the next step as this chamber in recognizing that the war on drugs has failed us and the criminalization of cannabis was the wrong course of action for our state and for our nation.” Strafstrom emphasized that the bill’s approval is just a first step in regulating cannabis fairly and effectively. “There is further work to be done by the social equity council that is set up in this bill,” he said, “and by various state agencies to effectuate policy laid out at the 30,000-foot level.” Most of the House discussion consisted of pushback from Republicans, who broadly oppose the policy change on the grounds that legalization would normalize cannabis use—particularly among young people—and cause public safety problems, among a host of other criticisms. Some Democrats who voted against the bill aired similar concerns. “Mark my words,” said Rep. Tom O’Dea (R), “people will die because of this bill, because of marijuana being sold in Connecticut.” He called his vote against the…

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Source : Connecticut House Approves Marijuana Legalization With Amendments, Sending Bill Back To Senate

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