HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The state Senate will hold a special session within the next 7 to 14 days to address the remaining bills, following the close of this legislative session.
Other bills are passable within this special legislative session. Changes can possibly be made to the recreational marijuana bill.
The State Senate bill making recreational marijuana legal in Connecticut passed overnight Tuesday. SB-1118 is now headed to the House of Representatives, which plans to send it to Governor Ned Lamont by the end of the session Wednesday.
If it does, Governor Lamont has said he will sign it into law.
The vote passed 19-17.
The debate went on since 9 p.m. Monday and lawmakers came to a vote at around 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Governor Lamont applauded the passage in the Senate in a statement he released Tuesday morning:
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 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 lead to jobs and growth. 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.
State Senator Will Haskell released a statement on social media following the vote, saying,
You could hear a pin drop as we voted to legalize cannabis. I voted yes because I believe the bill forges a responsible path forward, investing millions in public health, prohibiting advertising that targets children, and undoing harm caused by a failed policy of prohibition.
The 300-page bill would allow adults 21 and up to purchase recreational marijuana at stores that are regulated, and at a rate that is heavily taxed, though taxed at a lower rate than New York State.
People will be able to grow their own, as well, up to six plants per person and up to 12 plants per home. Individual towns could block retail sales with zoning laws. This bill also lets people affected by the federal government’s War on Drugs to be first in line for the right to set up a store to sell cannabis. Opponents say that creates a loophole favoring cities, which typically skew Democrat
There are health concerns to the smoker, and safety concerns to others, as there is no good way to test a driver to see if he’s high.
The bill does not allow people to use marijuana in cars. It has to be transported either in a locked glove box or in the trunk. It will take time to set up the infrastructure to sell legal pot, so nobody would be able to purchase a single ounce until May of 2022.