Lawmakers urge support for the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana

March 15, 2018

Before citizens were slated to give public testimony on a proposal to regulate the retail sale, growth and use of marijuana by adults ages 21 and over, state Reps. Josh Elliott, Mike D’Agostino, Steve Stafstrom, Juan Candelaria and Robyn Porter voiced their support for House Bill 5458.

H.B. 5458 “An Act Concerning the Regulation of the Retail Sale of Marijuana,” outlines the definitions necessary for the legal cultivation, distribution, retail sales and consumer use of marijuana.

“For decades and decades, we have been living under a paradigm of prohibition and what we have seen is that our black and brown brothers and sisters are disproportionately affected by these laws. Now that we have seen what it has done to communities of color, we need to do our best to ensure that we are proactive to remedy these effects,” said Elliott, D-Hamden. “With Massachusetts slated to begin the retail sale of marijuana in June, the time is now to pass legislation that permits the retail sale of cannabis in Connecticut. Failing to move this legislation forward means marijuana will become de facto legalized in our state and we will lose out on the revenue.”

The legislature’s General Law Committee held a public hearing on the proposed bill Thursday, and the Judiciary Committee is expected to hear public testimony on the legalization, taxation and regulation of the retail sale and recreational use of marijuana on Monday, March 19. The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee is also expected to hold a public hearing on the proposal.

Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington all permit the sale of marijuana for adult use. In January, Vermont’s governor signed into law a bill that will allow the state to authorize the adult use of marijuana. The law is slated to take effect July 1.

A proposal to regulate the use of cannabis for adults in Connecticut comes nearly six years after the state permitted medical marijuana. Similar to medical marijuana, legal, adult use of marijuana will be regulated by the state Department of Consumer Protection.

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Press Release: Elliott urges support for the regulation of marijuana for adult use