Hearing Today on Proposal to Regulate and Tax Marijuana for Adult Use

A committee of the Connecticut General Assembly will hold a hearing today on a proposal to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. 

The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. in room 2C in the Legislative Office Building on Capitol Avenue in Hartford to discuss the bill, Senate Bill 11.

"Our state’s current marijuana prohibition policy is causing far more harm than good for our communities," Sam Tracy, director of the Connecticut Coalition Regulate Marijuana said in a statement. “Connecticut voters overwhelmingly support regulating marijuana. This is a product that is objectively less harmful than alcohol. It should be produced and sold by licensed businesses, similarly to alcohol, rather than criminals in the underground market.”

The bill, which Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney sponsored, allows residents 21 years old and older to have, purchase from legal establishments and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

Marijuana sales would be taxed at 30 percent and supporters said it could bring a lot of money in tax revenue to combat the $3 billion budget deficit over the next two years.

Opponents say that other states that already have legalized marijuana have more fatal crashes and accidental poisonings.

AAA opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana. 

“It’s understandable that lawmakers would want to address traffic safety concerns by setting a legal limit for marijuana as we have for alcohol.  Unfortunately, it just can’t be done” Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in greater Hartford, said in a statement. “This is just one of the many complexities that make the legalization of recreational marijuana a concern for law enforcement and traffic safety advocates across the state,”

There are also concerns about raising money at the expense of public health.

The Liquor Control Commission would be responsible for overseeing marijuana retailers and transition to the Liquor and Marijuana Control Commission. 

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