Legalizing marijuana. It’s already been done in Massachusetts and could soon be the case in New York.
Gov. Ned Lamont appears in favor of doing the same here in Connecticut. During his State of the State Address to the General Assembly Wednesday, he suggested Connecticut become unified with bordering states. Supporters agree.
“If all those things remain the same, Connecticut would be an outlier in the region and cause us to miss out on a ton of economic activity,” said DeVaughn Ward, the senior legislative council at the Marijuana Policy Project.
Lamont said a coordinated regional regulation is needed to protect public health by displacing illicit sellers with trusted providers.
People who spoke with NBC Connecticut had a mixed reaction. Some agreed.
“I lean more towards legalizing it,” said Kelly Proulx of West Hartford. “I feel like things are heading in that direction anyway.”
“I believe we should keep (the state) clean from that because it does lead to a lot of addictions,” said Nelson Tejada of West Hartford.
Megan Witcoskie of Avon says she understands the use of medical marijuana but said she worries about recreational use, especially when it comes to the possibility of driving under the influence.
“I have two small kids,” she said, “I’d prefer people be on the roads able to be making those decisions with the right frame of mind.”
To make his point, the governor said what you can buy legally in Massachusetts right now could get you a year in jail here in Connecticut. He went on to say the patchwork of laws between neighboring states is impossible to enforce.
Meanwhile, those who support legalization point to Massachusetts law and say it is the way of the future here in Connecticut.
“The reality is, this is coming,” said Ward, “It’s already occurring in our neighboring states and I think it’s time to bring the marijuana policy into the 21st century.”