For some states, seeing their neighboring states legalize the recreational use of cannabis can make them consider re-evaluating their own laws. After all, with legal cannabis right across the border you are bound to see at least a few people crossing state lines to make a legal purchase. One such state is Connecticut, which shares a border with Massachusetts, where possession and consumption will become legal before the end of this year, with a commercial industry expected to blossom by the start of 2018.
With legal marijuana so close to their own state, Governor Dannel Malloy, who has been nothing but opposed to the idea of legalization prior to this, has now said it is something they may need to consider. There has already been significant improvement to laws surrounding cannabis in the state – small possession was decriminalized in 2011, and a medical marijuana law was passed only a year later – but until recently Malloy had said that was about as far as he thought it should go.
“I have never been an advocate of that,” Malloy said Wednesday. “On the other hand, of course, when multiple states move in a direction you have to re-examine your own personal thoughts on the issue. I’m just like anybody else.”
This isn’t the first time that legislation aiming to legalize adult use will be introduced to the General Assembly – but it will probably be the first time that it has even a small chance at passing, rather than being shot down right away. A New Haven Representative, Juan Candelaria, introduced a similar bill in the past – and from the sound of it, he intends to introduce one of what could be multiple attempts at passing a law of this nature in early 2017.
“We cannot move forward to the new legislative session talking about increasing taxes to the working families,” Candelaria said. “We cannot cut our self out of the deficit. We need to find new forms of revenue. We have a mechanism in place and that’s recreational marijuana.”
Unfortunately, a bill being passed through legislature and then being signed into law by the Governor is the only way Connecticut will see legalized marijuana as single-subject citizens initiatives are not an option there. However, with this new open mind and the slight push from their neighboring state making history with new marijuana laws, there is a strong possibility that Connecticut will become one of the states allowing adult use of cannabis. That’s not to say it couldn’t still be a ways off in the future – but we have to hope lawmakers see that the benefits will outweigh any of the possible negatives they keep turning to as reasons to continue outdated laws.