As has been the case for years, the debate over legalizing recreational marijuana essentially boils down to two sides: “It’s an idea whose time has come” vs. “Why do you think they call it ‘dope?’”
State legislators have been wrestling with the idea of making the commercial sale of weed legal since at least 2011, when Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law a measure reducing the penalty for possession of a half ounce of marijuana from a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail to a $150 fine for a first offense and a $200 to 250 fine for subsequent offenses.
“Let me make it clear — we are not legalizing the use of marijuana,” Malloy said at the time. Instead, he said, “we are recognizing that the punishment should fit the crime.”
The following year Malloy signed legislation allowing people with certain debilitating diseases to legally use marijuana for medical reasons, which again opened the floor for debate as to whether all pot could soon be legalized. Legislation to do just that has been introduced in