Lawmakers will hear from the public Thursday morning on whether to legalize the sale of non-medical marijuana. Expect legal pot’s backers and foes to turn out in force — by Wednesday evening, more than 30 people had submitted testimony to the legislature’s General Law Committee.
The testimony, filed by concerned parents, a board of health directors, state legislators, medical marijuana patients and admitted recreational smokers, arrays the arguments — financial, ideological, safety-minded, religious — for and against marijuana’s wholesale legalization.
Several of Connecticut’s neighbors have legalized marijuana’s retail sale. In Massachusetts, marijuana retailers can begin selling in July. Maine voters approved retail sales in 2016, but the state’s legislature has enacted a moratorium on sales, set to expire in April. When Vermont’s Republican governor, Phil Scott, signed a bill in January legalizing marijuana that was approved by the state legislature eight months earlier, Vermont became the first state to approve retail sales without a voter initiative.
Connecticut, which lacks a mechanism to legalize marijuana with the ballot, would have to take a similar route. Some prominent lawmakers have backed