Connecticut is moving further down the road to marijuana legalization with a fresh bill and widespread support.
State Rep. Juan Candelaria is promising to “push hard” for legalization for those over 21 and is introducing a bill to the General Assembly with nine Democratic legislators, reports The Inquisitr.
“I’m going to be engaging my leadership in conversation to at least allow a public hearing,” said Candelaria. Legalization could be a tempting option for lawmakers who are struggling with a large budget deficit of more than $500 million. Legalizing the sale of cannabis could bring in much-needed tax revenue.
“The fiscal situation the state finds itself in is fertile ground for discussing the legalization of marijuana,” said Hartford Rep. Ed Vargas.
Colorado, which was a trailblazer in marijuana reform legalizing recreational sales in 2012, recorded almost $1 billion in sales at the end of 2015, according to the state’s Department of Revenue.
Sales of legal marijuana soared by 42 percent compared with the previous year, said the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA). CBA welcomed the boost in sales, saying $135 million in taxes raised from the $996,184,788 in sales would help contribute to building new schools in the state. (RELATED: Colorado Marijuana Sales Soar To $1 Billion In Just One Year)
Connecticut joins Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts that all have similar measures in the works to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana.
According to the last poll on the subject conducted in the state, legal pot for adults is extremely popular among Connecticut voters. A Quinnipiac Poll from March 2015 shows 63 percent of voters supported legalizing small amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes. More than two-thirds of voters 67 percent also said they support making drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony.