HARTFORD — Lawmakers in the Connecticut state legislature have endorsed legislation that would permit the sale of recreational marijuana across the state.
After nearly five hours of debate into the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 8, the State Senate voted narrowly to pass marijuana legalization legislation.
According to the CT Post, the vote difference was 19 to 17 in favor of the marijuana bill. Only one Democratic member of the Senate voted with the Republican minority against the bill. Now, the bill advances to the House where Republican minority leadership promises a filibuster and a variety of other diversionary tactics.
This measure is also first full marijuana legislative package to be voted on since the state legislature greenlit a statewide medical marijuana market that has well over 50,000 patients at the time of this report.
One Republican, Sen. Kevin Witkos, voted in favor of legalization in the most recent bill.
In the House, Democratic Majority Leader Jason Rojas is expected to put up a strong offense in favor of marijuana legalization and, despite threats from House Republicans, is expected to push through the bill to the desk of Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont.
Lamont used marijuana legalization as a campaign promise during the 2018 election. He intends to deliver.
“I applaud the Senate’s passage of the bill to legalize the adult use of cannabis,” Lamont said in a statement.
“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.”
The legislation is also a strong development for the mission to legalize marijuana in a state as crucial as Connecticut.
“It has something to do with the way people understand other people. It should never have been a Schedule I drug,” said Sen. Gary Winfield, the judiciary committee chair for the Senate.