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Connecticut Marijuana Advocates Celebrate Legislative Victory

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Supporters of marijuana legalization in Connecticut are happy with the advancement made toward legalization. The Appropriations Committee has advanced a measure that prompts state agencies to draft plans for legalization and regulation of marijuana. A proposal is due by October 1.

The proposal will then be given to the state’s General Assembly, according to the Hartford Courant. The proposal has to include plans for prevention, awareness programs and substance abuse programs. The legislation must also clear the House and Senate before framework regarding regulation can start.

Sam Tracy of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana said, “It’s a great feeling to make it further than we ever have. It was a historic day for Connecticut.”

Activist Colin Souney said, “Connecticut is finally putting some true thought and consideration into what looks to be society’s choice.”

David McGuire of Connecticut ACLU said, “This is a reality. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, and this will be a new industry that is going to help a lot of people and create opportunities for a lot of people.”

Tracy is hoping that the state will include licenses for social consumption lounges.

He said, “For people who live in, say, public housing, who rent and have rules against smoking indoors, or other people who just don’t want it around their kids, I think it is important to have a place where they can legally and safely consume in a regulated environment.”

Hartford politicians are supportive of recreational marijuana. Public forums are scheduled in the near future and the city council is working on an economic impact study regarding how the legal industry could impact Hartford specifically.

McGuire wants to see advocacy groups included in legalization discussions.

He said, “The last thing we want to see is an industry that starts and then closes out the very people that were harmed by it, and who should have an opportunity to benefit from it.”

The legislative session ends on May 9, it is not said whether legalization will be scheduled for a vote before then.

Representative Juan Candelaria said, “At the end of the day, this is a work in progress.”

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