Connecticut Lawmakers Advance Three Cannabis-Focused Bills

Connecticut lawmakers have advanced three cannabis bills out of committee: one to allow possession and expunge low-level possession charges, one establishing a regulated marketplace, and one to ensure employers can bar cannabis use from the workplace and to create a DUI test for cannabis.

Full story after the jump.

A Connecticut bill allowing adults to possess cannabis and expunge low-level possession charges heads to the Senate after passing the Judiciary Committee on a slim 21-19 vote, CT News Junkie reports. Three Democrats crossed party lines and voted against the measure.

The state Legislature’s General Law Committee approved a separate bill to create a taxed and regulated adult-use cannabis industry late last month 10-8, across party lines.

During the hour-long debate, the Republicans and Democrats that opposed the measure said they had concerns about the effect of cannabis legalization on youth and most had adopted the phrase coined by prohibition advocates: “When you legalize you normalize.”

“As the mother of three teenagers, I can’t support legalization. Our kids will say, ‘If it’s legal, how can it be bad?’ Because when you legalize something, you normalize it.” — Sen. Alex Bergstein, the Democratic vice-chair of the committee, during the hearing

Democratic Sen. Dennis Bradley argued that cannabis is already “in every single community” in the state and asserted that the War on Drugs is “a racist initiative” that disproportionately affects minority and poor communities.

The committee also approved bills to ensure that employers have the right to bar cannabis use from the workplace and create a driving under the influence test for cannabis.

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