The Connecticut Senate on Thursday passed a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, WFSB reports. The legislation was approved on Tuesday by the House and moves next to Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont who is expected to sign the reforms into law.
In a statement, Lamont noted that the bill passed the Legislature on the 50-year anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s declaration of the War on Drugs.
“The war on cannabis, which was at its core a war on people in Black and Brown communities, not only caused injustices and increased disparities in our state, it did little to protect public health and safety. That’s why I introduced a bill and worked hard with our partners in the legislature and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive framework for a securely regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice, and equity. It will help eliminate the dangerous unregulated market and support a new, growing sector of our economy which will create jobs. … By allowing adults to possess cannabis, regulating its sale and content, training police officers in the latest techniques of detecting and preventing impaired driving, and expunging the criminal records of people with certain cannabis crimes, we’re not only effectively modernizing our laws and addressing inequities, we’re keeping Connecticut economically competitive with our neighboring states. … This measure is comprehensive, protects our children and the most vulnerable in our communities, and will be viewed as a national model for regulating the adult-use cannabis marketplace.”—Lamont in a statement
Cannabis use and possession for adults 21-and-older will be legal on July 1 and retail sales are expected to roll out by May 2022. The law allows adults to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, including up to five ounces at home or in a vehicle’s glove box or trunk.
Once signed by the governor, Connecticut will be the 19th state to end cannabis prohibition and the fifth state this year to pass the reforms.
The bill passed 16-11 with four Democrats joining all of the Republicans in voting against the proposal. Nine senators were absent for the vote.
Once the bill is signed into law, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will be the only New England states where cannabis remains prohibited.
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