The Hartford City Council unanimously voted in support of the legal and regulated use of cannabis for adults at its meeting on Monday night.
In the resolution by the Hartford Court of Common Council, the members supported the passage of laws to legalize and tax cannabis in 2018, according to the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.
The resolution also calls for "an economic impact study for a potential cannabis industry in Hartford." The capital city would hold public forums to hear from Hartford residents.
The resolution stated that there would be measures in place "to ensure racial equity in ownership and employment in the resulting cannabis industry."
Do you support the City Council's decision to support laws to legalize and tax cannabis? Click here to vote in our poll.
Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez sponsored the resolution.
“By passing this resolution, we put ourselves in a position to ensure the implementation of marijuana regulation is grounded in racial and economic justice,” Bermudez said in a statement provided by the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.
"Here you have a resounding resolution coming out of city council. I believe the vote was 9 nothing in favor of the resolution, so you could say in some respect we have got the back of our legislators. They can go int the session knowing citizenry of Hartford are supporting this type of bill," said City Councilor John Gale.
The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana "is a coalition of citizens, organizations, and community leaders working to end marijuana prohibition in Connecticut and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol," according to its website.
The director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, Sam Tracy, "commended" the resolution.
“The city of Hartford should be commended for publicly endorsing legalization and joining the voices throughout the state that are calling for sensible marijuana policies,” Tracy said in a statement on Monday night. “The legislature should heed this growing chorus for change and make regulating marijuana for adults a priority in 2018.”
A recent poll conducted by Sacred Heart University showed that 71 percent of Connecticut residents "support legalizing and taxing marijuana for adults."
"As an alternative source of tax revenue, more than two out of three residents (70.6%) either 'strongly support' or 'somewhat support' legalizing and taxing marijuana, while 55.6% of residents support 'instituting tolls on Connecticut’s highways,'" the study stated.
To read the full poll by Sacred Heart University, click here.
Opponents see legalization as the wrong message to young people and potentially damaging.
Stop Pot CT said, “There has been a 100% increase in pediatric hospitalizations due to accidental exposure and a 10% overall increase in youth marijuana use in Colorado since marijuana was legalized.”
Currently, marijuana is legal in the following eight states:
For more on the coalition, click here.
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