Posted on Leave a comment

Connecticut House Speaker says Cannabis Legalization is “Inevitable”

Marijuana Legalization in CT

Marijuana Legalization in CT “Inevitable”

Matt Ritter, the incoming Connecticut House of Representatives speaker said on Tuesday that cannabis legalization is “inevitable.” Due to Connecticut surrounding jurisdictions enacting changes in their marijuana legalization policies. This is a good news for marijuana legalization in CT.

During a recent briefing, Matt Ritter (Democrat), House Speaker-designate, was asked about strategies to encourage economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic and specifically whether legalizing marijuana to create tax revenue would be a part of their strategy.

Ritter stated, “Look, I really don’t want to get into policy discussion. We’ve got a caucus we have to have, but marijuana has been a long time, I have said I think it is inevitable at some stage, particularly when your neighboring states do it.” Ritter also said, “we do not have earnings yet so it’s quite tough to say where we are going to be.”

While Ritter stopped short of committing to a deadline to pass legalization legislation, the opinions bode well for the prospects of marijuana legalization in CT reform in 2021.

Ritter confessed that surrounding states are implementing cannabis policy changes, which is adding pressure to Connecticut to pass similar legislation so revenue opportunities don’t go out of state. There has been ongoing talks about the need to organize legalization plans from a regional viewpoint. Those talks are being ramped up since New Jersey voters approved a marijuana legalization referendum this past week.

Connecticut Governor, Ned Lamont (Democrat), said last week that marijuana legalization in CT will improve public health amid the COVID-19 pandemic by preventing cannabis tourism to surrounding states. Lamont also stated that officials have “got to think regionally in regards to how we deal with the pandemic and I believe we need to think regionally in regards to cannabis legislation.”

Lamont and other policymakers in surrounding states also said last week that the passing of marijuana legalization in New Jersey underscores the need for their own states to progress marijuana legalization reform in a regionally coordinated fashion .

Connecticut’s state legislature increased the already Democrat majority in last week’s elections. This helps increase the changes of marijuana legalization in CT in 2021. Lamont stated the reform is “on the table” and that it should bring in needed tax revenue for Connecticut.

Be sure to check out: MORE Act set for House Vote in December

Posted on Leave a comment

AOC Looks For Republican Support to Legalize Cannabis & End War On Drugs

AOC Supports Cannabis Legalization

AOC supports cannabis legalization and ending the war on drugs. Democrats and Republicans are usually divided on a range of big policy issues, however Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat-NY) said on Thursday that legalizing cannabis and ending the war on drugs are standing out as exceptions to hyper-partisanship in Congress.

During a virtual town hall with cannabis reform ally Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Democrat-OR), Ocasio-Cortez said that since she took office, it’s been encouraging to see members on both sides come together on issues concerning “civil rights policy and civil liberties,” including ending “drug prohibition laws.”

“We have been able to suggest solutions on a broad spectrum towards cannabis decriminalization, towards legalization, and that’s increasingly turning into a stance that more Republicans are amenable to,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.

Examples include her spending bill amendment to divert $5 million in funding from the Drug Enforcement Administration to an opioid treatment plan has been approved with no opposition in the House this past year, she stated. This shows the commitment that AOC supports cannabis legalization.

Blumenauer also stated that “part of why we’re fighting so strongly to get rid of the failed prohibition on marijuana is because that has been a tool that’s been used against people of color in particular that has horrible consequences and helps fuel that prison pipeline that has wreaked such havoc on our communities.”

Ocasio-Cortez explained that, beyond federally legalizing marijuana, it is important for lawmakers to make certain that any regulated markets which emerge are organized in a manner that encourages participation by communities hurt under prohibition. Considering AOC supports cannabis legalization on a federal level will have a big impact going into 2021.

Ocasio-Cortez said, “There are various ways that we may go about legalizing marijuana in America, and you can go about it in a manner that concentrates power in large agriculture, that concentrates power in large banks and that cuts out small mom and pops, and then there is another route towards cannabis legalization where regular people and especially the black and brown communities which have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs can be in the front of enjoying the financial benefits of legalization.”

Watch the joint town hall with Reps Blumenauer and Ocasio-Cortez.