Connecticut's state Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the state.
Gov. Ned Lamont has committed to signing the bill, which passed the Senate with a 16-11 vote. Once signed, Connecticut will join 17 other states, including New York and New Jersey, that have already legalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Adults aged 21 and older will be able to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana or up to five ounces locked away in one's home or the glove compartment or trunk of their vehicle.
Lamont threatened to veto a previous version of the bill that would have prioritized those previously arrested on marijuana-related charges in joining the marijuana market. The bill's current version will provide expedited licenses to people from cities that have been most affected by the state's drug laws.
"It’s fitting that the bill legalizing the adult use of cannabis and addressing the injustices caused by the war of drugs received final passage today, on the 50-year anniversary of President Nixon declaring the war," the governor said in a Thursday 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."
He added, "I look forward to signing the bill and moving beyond this terrible period of incarceration and injustice."
"We have operated for 50 years with unjust laws that target certain communities," state Sen. Gary Winfield, one of the architects of the bill, told the Hartford Courant. "We should never have done that."
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Original Author: Haley Victory Smith
Original Location: Connecticut governor to sign bill legalizing recreational marijuana