Senate Democrats have unveiled their plan to legalize and tax recreational pot. Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney said with neighboring Massachusetts already selling legal marijuana, Connecticut needs to treat cannabis like other adult products.
“What we need as we have done with alcohol, as we have done with tobacco is a scheme for legalization for those who are adults, plus regulation and taxation,” said Looney.
Senate Democrats also plan to draft legislation which would expunge the records of people who have previously been convicted of marijuana related-offenses if recreational pot becomes legal in the state.
“It's time to correct the wrong,” said Hartford state senator Doug McCrory, “so when we pass this legislation hopefully, if we can open the eyes up to everybody else in Connecticut, and watch what other states are doing, we can start healing communities and healing people, and moving everybody else forward.”
Deputy House minority leader, Republican Vincent Candelora, opposes legalization. He told reporters he’s interested to see the Democrat’s proposal to expunge criminal records.
“Connecticut already has a process for people to clear their records,” said Candelora, “if they want to have a conversation about the expungement process in isolation, that’s something we can talk about. But I don't see the correlation between expunging criminal records and legalizing marijuana. They're two distinct subjects.”
Senator Looney said the taxation of legal weed could eventually bring in as much as 150 million dollars a year to the state.