Connecticut Takes Historic First Steps Towards Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

As just about every state in the Northeast takes steps towards legalizing recreational marijuana, Connecticut made the first move towards joining that list.

For the first time in state history, a recreational marijuana legalization bill passed a Connecticut legislative committee and will go to the full General Assembly for a vote. Technically, the bill would not actually legalize cannabis. Instead, it would require the state's agencies to develop plans for marijuana legalization and regulation and to submit them to the Connecticut legislature by October 1st, where the Assembly would then vote on those plans.

Although this is a major step and indicates that the legislature is ready to begin serious conversations about the issue, it's still not necessarily a sign that legalization is coming in the near future. This bill would still need to pass in both the state House and Senate, and it's not a guarantee that would happen. The bill only made it out of the appropriations committee on a 27-24 vote, indicating there's a pretty clear 50/50 divide among the state politicians on the issue.

However, there's definitely pressure for the state to take action on the issue. Nearby Massachusetts and Vermont will both officially legalize recreational marijuana this summer, and a poll taken last fall showed 70 percent of Connecticut voters support legalizing marijuana.

So it's probably only a matter of when, not if, Connecticut will legalize marijuana.

(h/t Hartford Courant)

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