Proponents of legalizing marijuana in Connecticut are urging state lawmakers to capitalize on the "novelty factor" of becoming the first New England state to allow recreational use of the drug.
Seamus Kelly, a Waterbury resident, said at an informational hearing Tuesday that lawmakers might be "squandering this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" if they allow other states in the region to legalize pot first.
Two bills legalizing marijuana failed this session. It's expected to come up again next year.
Some proponents estimate Connecticut could reap about $50 million in additional annual taxes if it legalizes marijuana. Recreational marijuana is already legal in four states and the District of Columbia.
Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts are considering legalization. Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy supports medical marijuana and decriminalizing small amounts, but opposes full legalization.