The New Haven Police Department has released a statement regarding the passage of recreational marijuana use in Connecticut, stating that “officers will continue to uphold the law as they have in the past and enforce the laws as they currently stand.” This means that users will be arrested and prosecuted for using marijuana.
If you’re hoping to get your hands on some legal pot in Connecticut soon, you’ll need to plan ahead. Today lawmakers approved a new bill making the state the sixth in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use. The vote came on the last day of the legislative session, and the bill was approved by both chambers of the legislature by a vote of 45-4 and 45-4, respectively. Governor Dannel Malloy has already said he will sign the measure into law. The recreational use of marijuana became legal in the state in December, and this new bill is expected to create a regulatory structure for the state’s five medical marijuana dispensaries.
On Tuesday, July 1, 2016, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill legalizing marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older. The law will also allow for the regulation of marijuana by the state for the first time in the state’s history.
After years of flirting with legalizing marijuana, Connecticut is finally ready to make it official.
Today, Governor Ned Lamont signed a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and older. The new law officially takes effect on January 1. July. However, retail is not expected to start until 2022.
Lamont put his signature on the bill, which finally cleared the necessary legislative hurdles last week.
Senate lawmakers passed a bill last Thursday to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults. The vote marks the second time members of the Senate have approved a legalization measure. Another bill passed the House last week before being amended in the State House and sent to the Senate.
According to local television station NBC Connecticut, the bill passed the Senate on Thursday with a majority of 16 to 11. The legislation landed on the desk of Lamont, a Democrat who has never hidden his support for marijuana legalization.
But state lawmakers took weeks to align legislation. NBC Connecticut reported that members of the House of Representatives Wednesday rejected an earlier amendment to the cannabis legalization bill in the Senate that allowed applicants for marijuana licenses with preferential status to be residents of certain geographic areas who have previously been arrested or convicted of selling, using, producing or growing cannabis.
This provision would also apply to persons whose parent, spouse or child has been arrested or convicted of the same offences. Lamont opposed such a provision and even threatened to veto it if it was included in the bill.
It is fitting that today, the 50th anniversary. On the 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s declaration of war, legislation was finally passed to legalize cannabis for adults and right the wrongs caused by the war on drugs. The war on cannabis, which has essentially been a war on people in black and brown communities, has not only led to injustice and greater inequality in our state, but has also done little to protect public health and safety, Lamont said in a statement quoted by NBC Connecticut.
He continued: That is why I introduced the bill and worked hard with our legislative partners and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive framework for a strong regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice and equity. This will help eliminate a dangerous unregulated market and support a new, growing, job creating sector of our economy.
By allowing adult possession of cannabis, regulating its sale and content, training police officers in the latest techniques to detect and prevent drunk driving, and expunging criminal records for certain cannabis offenses, we are not only modernizing our laws and ending injustices, but also keeping Connecticut economically competitive with neighboring states, Lamont said.
The governor also stated that legalization will ultimately benefit the people of Connecticut, as proceeds from marijuana sales will be used to fund rehabilitation and prevention services. He told residents that the bill would ensure public safety and protect children and the most vulnerable in the community.
Legalization comes to Connecticut after years of effort
Lamont has been advocating for drug legalization in Connecticut for years. In 2019, he and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo discussed an interstate legalization policy, but it never came to fruition, and earlier this year New York went its own way by lifting the state’s ban.
In February, Lamont stressed the importance of moving forward despite the actions of Connecticut’s neighbors.
Neighboring states now offer recreational marijuana on a legal and regulated basis, Lamont said in his State of the Union address. Massachusetts dispensaries are widely advertised here in Connecticut. And instead of leaving this market to outside vendors, or worse, to an unregulated underground market, our budget provides for the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Half of the tax revenue should be used for PILOT payments, in addition to the 3% local excise tax. Most importantly, my bill would allow for the automatic expungement of the criminal records of individuals convicted of marijuana offenses, drug possession or drug charges, Lamont said at the time.
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