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Connecticut Legislature To Try Again At Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Jeff Chiu

The Connecticut state House will hold a vote to legalize adult recreational marijuana in a special session on Wednesday. The state Senate passed the bill for the second time in a week during a special session Tuesday night.

The Senate vote approved pot by a margin of 19-12. The bill is slightly changed from the version that passed a week ago. That’s because Governor Ned Lamont threatened to veto the bill over a social equity provision.

It allowed anyone with a previous marijuana arrest or conviction to receive priority for a license to sell regardless of their wealth as long as they came from certain neighborhoods affected by the war on drugs.

Democratic Senator Gary Winfield of New Haven said it has now been tweaked to reflect the median income of those neighborhoods.

“Where social equity comes into play the qualification requires that you have the economic component, which is 300% of the median income over the last three years,” Winfield said.

The bill also prohibits sitting lawmakers or state officials from being involved in the marijuana business for two years after they have left state service.

The legislation now goes to the House where lawmakers had failed to take action on it before their regular session ended last 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.