Priests Promote Legalization In Connecticut

A coalition of Connecticut clergy yesterday rallied in support of legalizing cannabis for adults and creating a taxed-and-regulated cannabis marketplace.

Full story after the jump.

A group of Connecticut clergy members rallied at the state Capitol building yesterday in support of legislation to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis, according to a Regulate CT press release.

“Prohibition does not work. Legalization will regulate the market and bring sorely needed revenue to the state budget, reduce needless arrests, especially for people of color, and provide jobs in communities ravaged by the failed war on drugs.” — Rev. Alexander Sharp, executive director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy, in a statement

Connecticut lawmakers are currently considering a legalization bill pitched by Gov. Ned Lamont (D) that, if approved, would legalize the possession of up to 1.5 ounces, establish a licensing system for cannabis cultivators and operators, and set a weight-based taxation system for the new industry. The bill would also include social equity licensing caveats and the expungement of cannabis possession convictions for up to four ounces.

Under the governor’s proposal, the Department of Consumer Protection would be tasked with determining by 2023 whether or not to allow cannabis home grows.

Participating clergy members at Tuesday’s event included: Rev. Tommie Jackson of Rehoboth Fellowship Church (Stamford); Rev. Alexander Sharp of Clergy for a New Drug Policy; Rev. Stephen W. Camp of Faith Congregational Church (Hartford); Rev. Simon Castillo of Good Shepherd Christian Church (Bridgeport); Rev. Zoey Dominguez of Rehoboth Fellowship Church (Stamford); Rev. Dr. Lindsay E. Curtis of Grace Baptist Church (Norwalk); Rev. Lawrence Hunter of Grace Baptist (Waterbury); Bishop William Marshall, pastor of City of Life Worship and Deliverance Center (Bridgeport and Waterbury); Bishop Robert L. Middleton, Jr., senior pastor of New Beginnings Ministries, Inc. (Hamden); Rev. Edwin Pérez of United Church on the Green/Apostolic Fellowship International Revival Ministries (New Haven); and Rev. Charlie L. Stallworth of East End Baptist Tabernacle Church (Bridgeport). The group was also joined by gospel choir “Brothers in Christ” of Cross Street AME Zion Church in Middletown.

A strong 65 percent majority of Connecticut residents support cannabis legalization, according to a January 2020 GQR poll.

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