legalizing marijuana

Senate Votes to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Conn.

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It's been a debate in Connecticut for years now, but recreational marijuana could soon be a reality.

The legislation is another step closer to becoming law after the 19 to 17 Senate vote earlier this morning. It now heads to the House for a vote.

Here's what you should know about the bill:

State leaders are looking to allow those 21 and older to purchase recreational marijuana in 2022.

A couple of restrictions are included for potential buyers. Only an ounce and a half can be carried around at a time and an additional five ounces can be stored inside your home or car.

Lawmakers announced a deal about how to allow those age 21 and over to buy recreational cannabis starting in 2022. And on Monday state senators weighed in on the nearly 300 page bill.

Some lawmakers believe the bill will help rectify what they consider a failed drug policy while others oppose the legislation.

“I totally oppose this. I think it sends a horrible message to our young people," said State Sen. John Kissel (R) Enfield.

“We have seen what has been wrought by having a war on drugs. Whole communities have been decimated," said State Sen. Gary Winfield (D) New Haven.

Governor Ned Lamont released a statement on Tuesday morning saying in part, "I applaud the Senate’s passage of the bill to legalize the adult use of cannabis. 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. I look forward to the Connecticut House of Representatives securing passage of this measure and sending it my desk," Lamont added.

The end of the legislative session is fast approaching but lawmakers have a lot of unfinished business, including a piece of legislation that would legalize and tax cannabis for adults over the age of 21.

The House has a goal of voting on the legislation before Wednesday at midnight. Should it become law, Connecticut would become the 18th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

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