A new recreational marijuana bill is scheduled for a hearing next week. This bill includes provisions for substance abuse treatment, education, awareness and prevention programs. The Appropriations Committee raised H.B. 5394 to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana sales.
The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management would work with the Chief State Attorney, Mental Health and Addiction Services and Consumer Protection and Revenue Services to create regulations and determine an implementation play by October 1, according to the Hartford Courant. Following the approval of the bill and creation of implementation plans and regulations, the legislation would be passed onto the General Assembly. Some opposition to the bill is heating up the debate ahead of the hearing.
The Connecticut Construction Industries Association opposes the legislation because, “the risks associated with legalizing marijuana and introducing a substance that can cause unquantifiable impairment in the construction industry far outweigh any intended benefits of this bill”.
Those supporting the legislation include the Connecticut ACLU, Connecticut NORML and Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.
This piece of legislation is the third regarding recreational marijuana to receive a hearing in this legislative session. One bill, H.B. 5458 has already been rejected. S.B. 487, with the endorsement of Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney, has not received a vote yet. The Judiciary Committee has until April 4 to vote on the legislation.