In a 27-24 vote on April 5, the Connecticut’s legislative committee passed a recreational marijuana bill for the first time which will now head to the full General Assembly, according to the Hartford Courant.
The legislation calls for a plan of action for legalization and regulation of marijuana within Connecticut. The completed plan of action will be due to the General Assembly on Oct. 1, according to the Courant.
Within the UConn community, students also believe that the legalization and regulation of marijuana is a huge step for the state of Connecticut.
“I think recreational use is long overdue within Connecticut and we can learn a lot from Massachusetts. I hope the same is passed through legislation in New York,” said Jordan Kyle, a fourth semester nutritional science major.
According to the Hartford Courant, Rep. Juan Candelaria, a Democrat from New Haven, “It was a proactive move to take up the recreational marijuana legislation this year as several neighboring states move forward with legalization.”
Marijuana will be available for sale in Massachusetts this July, according to the Courant.
House speaker Joe Aresimowicz, who holds the power on whether a vote will be held, told the Courant,
“it is still early in the process and I expect we will have continued discussions within the caucus, before it can be determined if it will be called for a vote in the House.”
According to a Sacred Heart University poll, most people in Connecticut think marijuana could help with the state’s budget crisis and 71 percent of people within Connecticut support legalization and taxation of cannabis.
Other UConn students reacted to the economic and social benefits that legalization and regulation of marijuana may bring.
“I believe it would greatly increase Connecticut’s budget. This would also affect lower income communities by decreasing incarceration for minorities, bolstering the economy and allowing more opportunities for marijuana to be commercially sold,” said fourth semester business major Frank Perez. “This may even lead to less deaths from driving accidents by introducing a safer drug than alcohol.”
Similarly, the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut told the Hartford Courant that the bill honors individual privacy rights, prevents discrimination and aids the burdens that prohibition has placed on youth, minorities and communities of color throughout Connecticut.
A completed plan for marijuana regulation will be due Oct. 1 before the bill is sent to the General Assembly. According to the Hartford Courant, several state agencies will be working on a plan for legalization as well as programs for substance abuse treatment, education and prevention.
Kristina Carretero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.