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Contentious Hearing In Hartford On Marijuana Legalization

Steven Senne

Connecticut lawmakers who are against the legalization of recreational marijuana also oppose using tax revenue from pot sales for community projects.

The Rev. Bruce Morris, a former Democratic state representative from Norwalk, was one of several opponents who testified before the finance committee, which is considering a bill that would use marijuana tax revenue for school and infrastructure projects.

Morris says that it is morally wrong.

“Marijuana’s deleterious effects have a cost that cannot be paid. In fact the anticipated revenue from marijuana, based on what we want to use it for, is a drop in the bucket.

That prompted a response from the committee co-chair, Representative Jason Rojas.

“There’s a lot of college kids going out into the workforce and making our economy what it is, despite consuming cannabis at one time in their lives. I just want to move away from this hysteria that is at least framing this conversation that we are having right now.”

The bill would require tax revenue from marijuana sales to go to a state-run community development fund that would disburse the money to distressed neighborhoods.

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.