HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- On Tuesday morning, church leaders from around the state rallied in support of a bill to legalize marijuana.

The Connecticut Clergy Coalition is advocating for Gov. Ned Lamont’s bill that would regulate and tax pot.

The group represents more than 100 congregations, and said marijuana regulation crosses racial, ethnic, and gender lines.

They're urging other state lawmakers to support the governor’s bill, which would allow adults 21 and older to possess and purchase up to one and a half ounces of cannabis from a licensed retailer.

The Coalition said they support the law because legitimate taxpayers will be selling the product, and not drug cartels or criminals.

They point out arrests because of prohibition have disproportionately impacted people of color and inner-city residents. 

"I'm tired of our young black and brown children having their lives disrupted when we can regulate cannabis," said Rev. Stephen Camp, Faith Congregational Church in Hartford. 

Lamont introduced a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. He says it's tie to work with neighboring states that have taken the step or are considering it. 

"You know within a short driver on our borders, people can buy legalized marijuana or they can buy it on the illicit market," Lamont said. 

In his State of the State address, Lamont also talked about legalization as a social justice issue. 

"It is time that we stand together on this failed policy and move forward on a way that will lift our communities up and allow our state to move forward,” said Rev. Charlie Stallworth, of East End Baptist Tabernacle Church in Bridgeport.

Republican lawmaker Vincent Candelora says he's open to helping people hurt by possession-related convictions. He's also open to allowing people to grow marijuana at home, but he's still opposed to regulating the sale of it. 

"I think when you know you put profit into it, that's when our children especially are going to be prayed upon," Candelora said.

The group added that this measure would allow police to focus on more serious crimes and improve community relations.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(11) comments

rick be

An important part of this bill should be allowing anyone to grow their own.

I did that for many years after my dealer was killed.I didn't like dealing with

the type of people that worked in that trade.I pity the crack & heroine users

who have to trade in dark alleys with dubious characters.

U

Has the clergy ever opened their Bibles and read how God wants us to present our bodies before him.

Logicandreason101

um...read your bible more closely. "Genesis 1:29, KJV: "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."

RG

The state should not take advantage of dope users, or gamblers for that matter. Exploiting these vices only degrades our state. Where the state gets its money matters!

Logicandreason101

Dope is the slang term for heroin, not marijuana. But, why is it taking advantage of those vices but not when it comes to alcohol and tobacco? I'm curious how you came to that conclusion.

RG

Dope refers to illegal drugs, pot included. The same is true for tobacco and alcohol, it is taking advantage of vice, and no other form of legal "dope" causes more illness and death than alcohol, thanks to it being legal. Funny how liberals will tolerate all the senseless deaths caused by drunk drivers, while at the same time wanting to take guns away from responsible citizens due to criminal shootings. Why don't democrats push for making it illegal to consume alcohol in public restaurants and bars? Everybody knows that nobody walks to the bar or restaurant, they all drive. Are all the innocent lives of those killed by drunk drivers of less value than the innocent lives of those killed by guns?

Logicandreason101

I thought virtue signalling was a SJW trait. Looks like some republicans join that party, too. And, democrats don't push for making alcohol illegal because they know people are responsible for their actions. The gun thing is NOT about taking guns away, it is about making sure it is harder for crazy people to get their hands on them. But, the republicans always think it is about taking guns away because that is what they are told to think. States rights, right?

rick be

They tried,but Prohibition didn't work.

Ohbilly

Uhh dope is heroin. We're not in the 1950's any longer. Sheesh. It's so disheartening to see that people still hold fast to outdated concepts and antiquated nomenclatures representative of an agenda-driven war waged on a freaking plant.

rick be

It's all dope to me...

rick be

Corrupticut ravages the poor with their lottery and scratch tickets.

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