Proposed bill would legalize use, sale and production of marijua - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Proposed bill would legalize use, sale and production of marijuana

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Proposed Connecticut bill would call for legalize of marijuana. (WFSB) Proposed Connecticut bill would call for legalize of marijuana. (WFSB)

One state lawmaker is pushing to make it legal for the production, use and sale of marijuana in Connecticut.

Connecticut has legalized marijuana for "medical" treatment, but some feel the state should make it legal for recreational use.

State Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-95) has proposed bill #5209 that would allow marijuana use for people 21 years old and older. It would also regulate the sale, possession, use and growth of marijuana. However, the bill makes it clear, there would be "certain restrictions."  

 Candelaria said regulating marijuana would create revenue, but more importantly would reduce crime.

"Taking the drug out of the streets, there is an underground economy that exists," Candelaria said. "And we will be taking that out of the underground economy."

Candelaria said Connecticut is already growing marijuana and could use those same facilities.

There are 23 states and the District of Columbia that have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. But, less than a handful allow it for recreational use.

"That really an irresponsible position. Marijuana is a dangerous drug," State Rep. Vinnie Candelora, who is a Republican on the judiciary committee, said. "Right now, we are faced with heroin overdoses on a daily basis."

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Candelora said he feels its the wrong thing to do to legalize marijuana and it sends a message that drugs are OK. He added it minimizes the importance of marijuana for those with serious medical problems.

"Some interesting studies have come out where marijuana helps epilepsy," Candelora said. "We should be targeted that drug for research rather than using society as guinea pigs."

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy supports medical marijuana and recent laws that have decriminalized small amounts, but that's it.

"I am not in favor of legalizing marijuana," Malloy said. 

The bill has been referred to the judiciary committee. The bill came up last year, but didn't get far. 

For more on the bill, click here.

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