Public weighs in on potential legalization of recreational marijuana in Connecticut


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — While the State Senate voted to pass the recreational marijuana bill overnight Tuesday, what does the general public think? Some people want it, and some people don’t.

RELATED: CT State Senate poised to take up legalization of adult-use marijuana, but are there enough votes to pass it?

Dr. Gregory Shangold, the president of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), told News 8, “The marijuana that was used in the 1980s, it was 4% THC content. Some of the marijuana now especially when you are talking about edibles, is well above 25%.”

Not only is the CSMS concerned about the potency and its potential for addiction, but doctors also say the human brain doesn’t stop developing until 25 years old, and marijuana delays growth. But medical dispensaries say the product they are selling on the shelves now is highly regulated, and continuously tested. And the same would be for recreational marijuana.

Carl Tirella, the general manager for Acreage Holdings in Connecticut, told News 8, “There are two independent testing sites as well, so it is a very regulated market to make sure that it all meets the standards of the Department of Consumer Protection and the medical marijuana program.”

So while lawmakers and the experts are going back and forth, on the streets people seem kind of ambivalent. They don’t really have a strong opinion one way or another. As a matter of fact, one guy was going back and forth while talking to us.

David Regan of West Hartford said, “I think it is a good thing and a bad thing actually. You can get it so easily right now is driving across the state line 45 minutes away and then coming back, how is it not legal already?”

And for others, it’s about getting it off the streets and into the stores and into a controlled environment.

Brittany Lovelace of West Hartford said if the drug was legalized, “I wouldn’t have to worry about my babies, I wouldn’t I have to worry about all the panhandling on the streets and the corners. I wouldn’t have to worry about people getting into fights – or God forbid a drug deal gone bad and somebody starts shooting everybody.”

The medical dispensaries say when lawmakers give them the go-ahead, they can flip the switch and be ready for recreational sale in a matter of days.

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