Today, the Connecticut General Assembly begins its legislative session, opening a new window of opportunity for bills to be passed into law. While bills to legalize and tax marijuana got further in 2017 than they ever had before, they did not make it out of committee and onto the House and Senate floors. But with momentum growing in our state and across New England, it looks like 2018 might finally be the year we legalize and regulate marijuana in Connecticut.
Marijuana policy reform started 2018 strong, with Vermont passing a bill to legalize home cultivation and personal possession for adults. This made Vermont not only the ninth state to legalize marijuana, but also the first to pass it through a legislature. Connecticut, nicknamed “The Land of Steady Habits,” will no longer have to worry about being the first legislature to legalize marijuana. With Massachusetts set to begin sales to adults this July, legal marijuana will soon be available right across our border, adding to the New England momentum.
We’ve also had some great news within Connecticut. Gov. Malloy, long opposed to legalization, appears to be softening his stance. This week, his proposed budget revisions mentioned alternative revenue sources, including marijuana legalization:
Marijuana legalization is a bipartisan issue, and we’ve been gaining momentum on the right side of the aisle as well. Just yesterday, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart — a Republican who is also seeking her party’s nomination for governor this year — said on Twitter that she is “fine with” legalization as long as it’s regulated. As the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, we’ve assured her that any system would include regulations to safeguard public health and safety, and we’re continuing the conversation among Republicans in the state.
Due to this momentum in Connecticut, New England, and beyond, the General Assembly is finally taking marijuana legalization seriously. Multiple reports have indicated that it will be a legislative priority, along with electronic tolls, bump stocks, and a small number of other timely issues.
This could be the year we legalize marijuana in Connecticut. But we can only do it with the help of our supporters, so please be sure to volunteer, donate, and contact your legislators. Together, we can legalize marijuana in 2018!