“We had a chance to learn from others, and I think we’ve got it right here in the state of Connecticut,” Governor Ned Lamont.
The pace of cannabis legalization sweeping across the nation has accelerated at a rapid pace, with five states ending prohibition within its borders in recent months with Connecticut becoming the 19th state overall to go legal. Over 40% of our nation’s population now lives in a state with legalized cannabis, getting us towards a tipping point where federal prohibition remains even more nonsensical than it already does. As NPR reported, legislators and policymakers in Connecticut are touting the fact that they got to learn from other states when crafting their measure.
“‘I think it will be the most comprehensive and best cannabis legalization bill in the country,’ said House Majority Leader Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford. ‘History will tell us if that’s true or not, but I feel confident in saying yes, right now, this is the best bill in the country and it’s going to move us in a direction of ensuring that we provide a well-regulated marketplace for adult-use cannabis for adults who want to participate in that kind of activity.’
“The law allows individuals age 21 and older to possess or consume up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of “cannabis plant material” and up to 5 ounces (141.7 grams) in a locked container in a home or in the trunk or locked glove box in the person’s vehicle. Retail sales of recreational cannabis in Connecticut are not expected to begin until the summer of 2022, at the earliest.
“According to the Marijuana Policy Project, Connecticut is now the 19th state to end cannabis prohibition. The group, which advocated for the bill, noted the legislation sets aside 50% of licenses for equity applicants, which include residents of communities that have been “disproportionately impacted” by drug-related crimes and high unemployment. Also, up to 75% of revenue will be dedicated toward equity efforts and community reinvestment, the group said.”
Here in the Great Northwest, cannabis pioneers certainly would love to have some provisions enacted that later adopters have implemented, such as automatic expungement, equity provisions, the ability to have cannabis cafes and, for Washington State, home cultivation. It’s great to see other states build upon pioneers and those that have gone early must remain vigilant to press for much-needed improvements, shining a light on the advancements shown possible by the newbies. Congratulations, Connecticut cannabis community, take some time to celebrate, you deserve it. You, like all of us seeking to end the Drug War, will be back at work soon enough.
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