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Lawmakers Say Connecticut May Legalize Marijuana in 2019

Cannabis

Lawmakers in both parties in Connecticut say that recreational marijuana could actually happen in the state this year. Efforts have gained ground but have failed in previous years. Some say that the discussion this year is much different than it has been.

Representative Steve Stafstrom is expected to be a key component of the legalization discussion and has sponsored HB 5595, according to Westfair Online. Some of the language of the bill includes transporting legal purchases in sealed containers. Marketing and advertising of recreational sales will also be prohibited.

Stafstrom said, “I expect we will have a very different debate and discussion this year than we have in years past. I expect a robust debate on the issue – not just should it or should it not be legal, but about the framework of how we (legalize) it in a responsible way.”

Connecticut would also lift convictions for possession for those previously convicted, as noted in the legislation.

The state is going a step further with attempting to curb stoned driving, with a limit of 5-nanograms of THC being the level of intoxication. Roadside testing would be required. Saliva tests are expected to find the presence of THC – which will detect marijuana usage within the previous 2 hours. The state is currently seeking out a consistent way to test for marijuana of impaired drivers under HB 5152.

Regarding the potential for legalization in 2019, Stafstrom said, “I think we’ve gotten to the point where society has realized that cannabis is a less addictive and less harmful substance to buy than alcohol, tobacco, and even some prescription narcotics, all of which are legal and we have a regulatory framework for.”