Marijuana Legal in Connecticut

This article was published on: 02/13/16 7:42 PM by Curt

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If one Connecticut lawmaker gets legislation passed, the sale and use of marijuana for adults over 21 would become legal. Democratic Representative Juan Candelaria of New Haven, introduced legislation on Thursday, joining other New England states who are considering legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

Candelaria knows legislation may be a long shot, but he plans to be pushing very hard to get it passed. Candelaria introduced a similar bill last year that never made it to committee, but he wants lawmakers to hear the public’s opinion on the issue. A Quinipiac poll released last March, showed 63 percent of eligible voters supported legal possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

Candelaria believes that the legalization and taxation of marijuana would bring revenue to the state which is already facing large budget deficits. Since making marijuana legal in Colorado, businesses have sold more than $1 billion dollars of the product, generating $135 million in taxes and fees for the state.

Nine Democratic lawmakers from the state, including Rep. Gregory Haddad , who represents Mansfield, where UConn’s Storrs campus is located, have joined Candelaria in the legislative filing.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who in 2012, signed a bill allowing physicians to prescribe medical marijuana, has a lukewarm feeling to the filing.

Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana through ballot measures, a process not used in Connecticut.

Possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana is currently a civil penalty with a $150 fine, with penalties rising based on the number of offenses and amount possessed.

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