Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont would like to see legal cannabis in his state because he wants to bring more money to Connecticut and hopes that legalization will help end racial disparities in arrests in the state. To make that a reality, he has introduced a bill to the House, and while he recognizes that the plan will require some persuasion since Republicans are likely to fight back during the legislative process and Democrats want an even more liberal bill, Lamb feels good about finding a solution.
"We've been talking about it for ages", Lamont said, but it took a long time to get there. On the proposal, he said: "This is the beginning of the discussion, not the end".
"I think there are now adults who are using recreational marijuana in the state of Connecticut, as well as in a number of other states and other parts of the country".
The bill focuses on decriminalization, regulation, and revenue generation when it comes to the proposed legal industry, but projections show Connecticut could raise $33.6 million in the budget by 2023. The state will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Friday, and if legalization goes through, sales could begin as early as next year.
To ensure justice in the legal industry, he plans to encourage police, prosecutors, and judges to focus only on dangerous criminal activities and not pursue cannabis possession to make it work. In addition, the new legislation would introduce a method to remove previous cannabis possession from the records, so that people whose only crime is the possession of cannabis can have equal opportunities in the labor market. According to the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, 7,500 people were arrested for marijuana possession in Connecticut in 2015, a 5.5 percent increase from the previous year.