HARTFORD, CT —A bill that would begin planning for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Connecticut was sent to the House Thursday after narrowly passing the Appropriations Committee by a 27-24 vote.
Rep. Juan Candelaria, D-New Haven, a strong proponent of legalization, conceded that the bill, HB 5394, was a “work in progress.” But Candelaria said with states all around Connecticut either already legalizing or moving to legalize marijuana, that Connecticut “needs to have a plan when, not if, this (legalization) happens.”
Rep. Pam Staneski, R-Milford, voted against the bill. She said she was opposed because the bill mandates that a plan be developed to have a regulating body oversee legalization.
“We don’t have the money for it,” Staneski said.
Appropriations Committee Co-Chair Toni Walker, D-New Haven, another proponent of legalization, pointed out that the fiscal note for the bill states that the Office of Policy and Management has sufficient resources to regulate.
“The bill, which requires the Office of Policy and Management to develop a plan to legalize and regulate the retail sale of marijuana, has no