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Progressive Caucus To Push For Marijuana Legalization In Hartford

Jeff Chiu

Members of the Progressive Caucus in the Connecticut House of Representatives say they’ll push to legalize and tax recreational marijuana sales to adults. They say it’s part of their legislative agenda for the upcoming session that begins on January 9.

Democratic Representative James Albis of East Haven is co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. He said regulating the sale of marijuana to adults will boost Connecticut’s economy.

“We are talking about creating a brand new industry, taking something off the black market, creating jobs. Frankly I can’t think of a bill that would create more jobs in a short amount of time as a bill to regulate marijuana. So I think it’s one of the most important job bills we can do,” Albis said.

In Massachusetts the sale of marijuana to adults is reported to have generated $2.2 million income to the state in the first five days after it was legalized on November 20.

Albis said his caucus agenda includes a $15 minimum wage bill and a paid family and medical leave bill. He claims those bills will also help stimulate Connecticut’s economy.

The membership of the state General Assembly’s Progressive Caucus increased from 35 to 46 members following November’s election. They make up about half of the Democratic Party majority in the House.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.