March 16, 2018, Connecticut
In terms of cannabis reforms, the state of Connecticut has seen significant improvement in the last few years. On Thursday, lawmakers in the state held a session on the issue of adult-use cannabis. This legislative development might be a sign that Connecticut is going to join other nine states, where recreational cannabis is allowed.
During the session, lawmakers heard the arguments in favor and against the prospects of adult-use cannabis legalization. It was a public hearing and therefore also accounted remarks from Arkansas residents. The session was held in the backdrop of the Bill 5482 which entails these implications:
- Adults 21 and above will be allowed to purchase adult-use cannabis from retailers
- Social consumption of cannabis will be allowed
- Residents in the state can cultivate up to six marijuana strains at their properties for domestic use
Majority of the cannabis advocates pushing for legalization are establishing their argument around the revenue benefits of legalized marijuana sales. This rationale is gaining traction because of an enduring financial crunch experienced by the state.
Some legislators also mentioned the tangent of prevailing social justice with cannabis legalization. For instance, state representative Robyn Porter has pointed towards racial disparity in cannabis-related prosecutions.
According to Porter, racial inequality has been on display in non-violent crimes of minor cannabis possessions where colored offenders mostly end up serving jail time. Porter terms it an injustice when individuals for cannabis charges are serving more prison time than the instigators of far more atrocious crimes.
On the other hand, there are still many who don’t fancy the idea of legalization. Among them, the most prominent figure is the Governor of Connecticut. Gov. Dannel Malloy has made it categorically clear that he doesn’t support the legalization of recreational cannabis.
The issue of adult-use cannabis in Connecticut has been part of legislative discussion for many years. Even though things have significantly improved in comparison to the past, the deadlock on blanket legalization of weed still prevails.
If we look back, Connecticut has undergone major cannabis reforms this decade. The state introduced legislation in 2011 to decriminalize weed. In the next year, the state commenced its medical cannabis program. From then on, cannabis reformers have been striving for the legalization of adult-use weed.
It’s interesting to note that public surveys always demonstrate that the majority of the state population endorses cannabis legalization for recreational use. A survey conducted by Sacred Heart University in the last quarter of 2017 indicated that more than 71% of Connecticut residents are in favor of legalization and taxation of adult-use cannabis.
Experts are of the thought that these numbers are enough to get recreational cannabis legalized through public ballot. However, the opposition of incumbent governor might slow the development on this front.
Vermont has become the ninth state to legalize recreational weed through the legislative action of the state parliament. Connecticut might become the tenth, if the question of legalization appears on the public ballot later this year.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]