The Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford, Connecticut.

Sage Ross

Connecticut Lawmakers Debate Legalizing Recreational Cannabis During Committee Meeting

Connecticut legislators debated legalizing cannabis for adult use in front of the General Assembly’s public health committee yesterday but found only disagreement, the Connecticut Post reports. As usual, opponents stuck to the usual prohibitionist talking points and pointed to recent comments from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as justification to keep the status quo.

During her testimony, Republican state Rep. Melissa Ziobron, a sponsor of a recreational use measure, argued that “legal marijuana is safer than alcohol and tobacco.”

“Marijuana has never caused a fatal overdose in the 7,000 years of reported human use,” she said in the report.

Ziobron noted that the potential tax revenues – estimated between $30 million and $100 million annually – would help bridge the state’s budget gap and could boost tourism interest in the state.

“It’s not just about the revenue,” she said. “In Denver tourism is at all-time high, no pun intended. They found marijuana laws increased the decision to go on vacation in Colorado by more than 50 percent.”

She added that by not legalizing cannabis as Massachusetts and Maine roll out their voter-approved legal regimes Connecticut would lose tourism dollars.

“What’s going to happen when they start driving through Connecticut to Massachusetts and Rhode Island to enjoy something other states have legalized?” she asked.

The bills in the state legislature would regulate and tax legal cannabis sales while requiring product testing.

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