Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday that he believes the time has come to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in Connecticut.
The proposal focuses on responsibly and equitably legalizing and regulating the adult use of marijuana, in alignment with neighboring states, he said.
Lamont said this has been a long time coming.
Senate Bill 888, as written now, would allow adults 21 and older to possess and purchase up to one and a half ounces of cannabis from licensed retailers.
"We've been talking about this for ages and I think now is the time for legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana in a carefully regulated way with an emphasis on equity and justice," Lamont said during a virtual roundtable discussion on the bill with state and local experts, business leaders, community advocates and criminal justice experts.
Lamont said prohibition doesn't work.
"It created a lot of alcohol poisoning. It wasn't called the 'roaring 20s' 'cause everybody gave up alcohol. And Al Capone and the underground market took over for a period of time and they learned and they stopped and alcohol was a carefully regulated market," Lamont said. "Now is the time to make that change as well."
Lamont said the underground market could be much more dangerous.
Last February during his State of the State Address to the General Assembly, Lamont suggested Connecticut become unified with bordering states with legalizing marijuana.
He said Wednesday that Connecticut will learn from other states that have approved it.
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