Marijuana legislation in Connecticut clears another hurdle

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The state is a step closer to joining the recreational marijuana ranks

A recreational marijuana bill in Connecticut made it through a key vote in the General Assembly yesterday, but still has a long way to go before finding approval. The subject of recreational marijuana in the state has been a complicated one and this is seen in how the votes swing on marijuana bills. In the latest move, the General Assembly Judiciary Committee barely approved the bill by a vote of 21-19.

Connecticut began allowing small amounts of marijuana in 2011. Previously, anyone found in possession of even a small amount of non-medical marijuana could be arrested and wind up with a criminal record; however, when the laws changed in 2011, the fine for a first offense was reduced to a fine of just $150.

Many politicians in the state believe that legalizing recreational marijuana will make it too easy for youth to access. This is a failed argument that, if legitimate, would have kept alcohol illegal. Some politicians also believe that legalization would lead to more adults consuming marijuana. This is a common sense statement, but doesn’t provide any basis for the natural plant to continue to be illegal.

Connecticut’s General Law Committee passed a marijuana bill last month, which laid the framework for how recreational marijuana would be regulated. That bill, the current recreational bill and a third dealing with the financial aspects of the legal industry should merge into one single bill before being sent to the General Assembly for its vote.

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