Lawmakers continue debate on recreational marijuana - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers continue debate on recreational marijuana

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(WFSB File) (WFSB File)

Connecticut lawmakers said the debate would continue and on Wednesday some Democrats are proposing new legislation to allow recreational marijuana.

The fight for an against recreational pot has been waged for years in CT, while other states are saying yes and are collecting millions in taxes.

The legislation has been brought up a handful of times and would allow recreational marijuana, however the details are still being worked out.

Those who support it, said it’s more than just money.

“I think it’s the right thing to do, Connecticut is ready for it,” said Rep. Juan Candelaria.

Recreational pot could bring in millions in tax dollars, which is tempting for a state that’s facing budget problems. Candelaria said money’s not his motivation.

“Revenue is always important but it’s not all about revenue, it’s about the social aspect and the impact regulating. It’s about removing marijuana from the drug dealers in our communities that have incentives to get people hooked on harder drugs,” Candelaria said.

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states, 16 states have recreational marijuana, and 9 states allow both.

CT lawmakers had few issues approving medical marijuana, but recreational has proven to be much more controversial.

Adding fire to the debate, neighboring states like Massachusetts and Maine have passed legislation to allow recreational marijuana, which could impact those who drive across state lines.

“We’ve never even seen a bill get out of committee,” said State Representative Vinnie Candelora.

Republican State Rep. Candelora said despite all the debates and public hearings, lawmakers have many concerns like he does.

“The medical marijuana industry in CT is heavily regulated. People know what they are putting into their bodies, to sort of deregulate that and allow anyone to take marijuana creates problems, you lose control over that system,” Candelora said.

Up until now, no bill supporting recreational marijuana has been voted on. What happens this year remains to be seen.  

On Thursday, those against recreations marijuana are having an event at the Capitol to keep recreational pot from being passed.

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