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.
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