Medical Marijuana, Racism, Reps Arrested: Connecticut Tackles Wide Array of Local Issues

Yahoo Contributor Network

National politics dominated much of 2012, but state-level issues still merit examination. Yahoo News asked voters to pinpoint issues within their own states that they'd like to see tackled in 2013. Here's one perspective.

COMMENTARY | While the nation faces looming tax hikes, a fiscal cliff, and other popular catastrophes, Connecticut has its own unique problems causing the public to wonder what the heck is going on. Here are the top three for me, heading into 2013:

Medical marijuana

is now approved in the state of Connecticut. This means that not only are the people of the state divided on the issue, but now more problems arise. One is the over-reaching power of the federal government and will they use that power to shut down dispensaries. Then the even larger problem for the state of Connecticut is how to get the ball properly rolling in a heavily regulated industry. Right now, prospective patients can register with the state, as reported by Anthony Karge. But that is about it. No doubt it will need massive oversight and regulation. All in all, it should generate a fair amount of revenue for the state, but it cannot generate a single dime in taxes until the regulations are written

Calls to step down to state Rep. Christina Ayala have gradually increased since her first arrest. Now there is a second arrest and the two charges come just two months apart. In August 2012 Ayala was involved in a hit and run where she was the driver a day after winning the Democratic primary. Since Connecticut is so heavily Democratic, Ayala was able to still get elected with that hit and run being at the end of her campaign. Any other candidate in another state would have most likely lost the election. The latest charge is a breach of peace involving Ayala and her boyfriend. She even allegedly tried to use her status as an elected representative to her advantage and coerce the police into leaving without arresting her. The Connecticut Democrat party really needs to lead by example by requesting Ayala resign or face the consequences in the upcoming election. With two arrests now under her belt a Republican challenger might actually have a shot in the next election. If she resigns now, they are more likely to hold that seat.

Racism seen in an anti-gang initiative? Only in a leftwing state like Connecticut will the do-gooders have do-gooder enemies. Critics are complaining that the New Haven-based project is too heavily focused on black residents. According to the New Haven Register, "An aggressive attempt to end gang and gun violence on the city's streets, the new antiviolence initiative 'Project Longevity' has drawn a racially charged reaction from some residents" but has also drawn some praise.

Have those making the charges of racism seen the demographic of New Haven? More importantly, the targeted gang members? It is impossible to have such an initiative without it having the majority of individuals targeted be African-American. Let's hope they are successful with whomever they reach and hope the complainers find something else to focus on tomorrow.

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