Lawmakers urge support for the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana

March 15, 2018

Before citizens were slated to give public testimony on a proposal to regulate the retail sale, growth and use of marijuana by adults ages 21 and over, state Reps. Josh Elliott, Mike D’Agostino, Steve Stafstrom, Juan Candelaria and Robyn Porter voiced their support for House Bill 5458.

HB 5458 “An Act Concerning the Regulation of the Retail Sale of Marijuana,” outlines the definitions necessary for the legal cultivation, distribution, retail sales and consumer use of marijuana.

“Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than at least three other substances – alcohol, tobacco and opioid medication – that we legalize and regulate in Connecticut. While we have found a regulatory structure for these three substances, we have not created a regulatory framework for the retail sale of marijuana for adults 21 and over. On Monday, the legislature’s Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing to determine if marijuana should be legalized in Connecticut. I support that effort so that we can bring the sale and regulation of marijuana out of the shadows and off our streets,” said Stafstrom, House vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee, D-Bridgeport.

The legislature’s General Law Committee held a public hearing on the proposed bill Thursday, and the Judiciary Committee is expected to hear public testimony on the legalization, taxation and regulation of the retail sale and recreational use of marijuana on Monday, March 19. The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee is also expected to hold a public hearing on the proposal.

Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington all permit the sale of marijuana for adult use. In January, Vermont’s governor signed into law a bill that will allow the state to authorize the adult use of marijuana. The law is slated to take effect July 1.

A proposal to regulate the use of cannabis for adults in Connecticut comes nearly six years after the state permitted medical marijuana. Similar to medical marijuana, legal, adult use of marijuana will be regulated by the state Department of Consumer Protection.