HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The debate to legalize recreational marijuana in Connecticut continued on Monday.

Another legislative committee acted on a bill that could ultimately legalize the use of pot for people ages 21 and older.

The General Assembly's Judiciary Committee voted on and passed one such bill on Monday, 21 to 19.

The bill specifically outlines how marijuana would be legalized.

It's just one of several bills moving through the legislative process this year.

Monday's bill passed, but all Republicans voted no and most Democrats supported it.

"Given those reasons and I want to keep our youth safe, I will be opposing this today," said Republican State Senator Dan Champagne.

His feelings were shared by many Republicans on the Judiciary Committee.

Democrats, who pretty much all voted 'yes,' had concerns.

"I will be supporting this bill today for a variety of reasons but I do have strong reservations which lay outside this committee and the public health impact, and the impact on addiction," said Democratic State Rep. Maria Horn.

Even though this bill passed, it's not the final say.

The bill would also allow people who were previously convicted of marijuana possession to petition courts to have their records erased.

A separate bill was already approved by the General Law Committee on March 25.

The committee will also vote on legislation clarifying that employers don't have to allow workers to possess, smoke or consume marijuana products, or do their jobs under the influence of pot.

Another bill up for discussion addresses driving under the influence.

The group Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana posted summaries of the bills on its website here.

Advocates expect that the pieces of legislation will eventually be included in one bill for lawmakers' consideration.

However, there's been pushback from some lawmakers who said they feel it's wrong to legalize recreational pot just for  the money. They said they fear serious repercussions, especially among teens.

"I just don't see any benefit to the state. Colorado is finding that every dollar they make in revenue, even ignoring the social costs there are increases in emergency room visits, there are increases in car accidents," said Republican State Rep. Tom O'Dea.

The criminal aspect and pardoning people is a complicated process.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

jimbates

leave it to people in suits to complicate and mess up nature's gift to mankind.
why we continue to let theses egomaniacs who have ZERO knowledge about, in this particular case, weed, other than what their corporate lobbying overlords (pharmaceuticals, big tobacco, alcohol) tell them, make decisions which can impact our freedom is mind boggling.
one obviously mentally deficient legislator called marijuana a "gateway drug to murder."
it made me so mad i wanted to get high and kill her. (this disclaimer is for the idiots in suits. it's a joke.)

Logicandreason101

You're right. The real gateway drugs are alcohol and/or cigarettes, and in some house holds, opioids.

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