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Connecticut Legislature Passes Pot Bill, Legalizing Recreational Use Starting Next Month

David Zalubowski

Connecticut is poised to be the 19th state to legalize pot. State lawmakers approved the adult recreational use of marijuana this week.

Senate President Martin Looney sponsored the bill. He said it was the result of years of debate about how to aid communities affected by the war on drugs.

“To address those communities that have been harmed historically for decades of abuse targeted at minority communities in the enforcement of anti-marijuana laws,” Looney said.

Lawmakers passed the bill in the Senate, 16-11, on Thursday. The House passed it by a vote of, 76-62 on Wednesday.

Governor Ned Lamont is expected to sign it into law. That means Connecticut residents 21 and over will be able to use marijuana recreationally starting July 1. Retail sales would begin in May 2022.

Lamont had threatened to veto an earlier version of the bill that passed in the Senate because it included last-minute changes to provisions that build equity in the sale of marijuana. The amendments were removed 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.