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Connecticut Legislature Inches Closer To Deal On Recreational Pot

Steven Senne

With two weeks left in their legislative session, Connecticut Democrats say they are close to a deal with Governor Ned Lamont on a bill that would legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana.

House Democratic Majority leader Jason Rojas has been leading the negotiations. He said by Friday they should finish hammering out a deal on provisions that would allow for a clean slate for people with some prior drug convictions. He said the bill would also contain a provision that would allow people from communities adversely affected by the war on drugs to participate in the business and build equity.

“We’ve seen what happens in other states and how successful and lucrative it can be. And we want to assure that there is a broad diversity of individuals who are able to enter that marketplace, start a business and create their own wealth and benefit from what would be a new marketplace,” Rojas said.

Last year marijuana generated $2.7 billion in tax revenue in states that have legalized it. That’s according to an industry lobbying group called the Marijuana Policy Institute. Legislative leaders said they would like to schedule a vote on Connecticut’s legalization bill next week.

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.