A bill introduced in Connecticut last month would authorize marijuana to be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol, legalizing the plant, and effectively rejecting the federal prohibition on the same.
House Bill 6703 (HB6703) was introduced on Jan. 30 by State Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-95). If this bill is successful, Connecticut would become the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes through the legislature rather than the popular vote.
HB6703 states simply "that the general statutes be amended to allow marijuana use for persons twenty-one years of age and older, and to regulate the sale, possession, use and growth of marijuana." The bill offers no further details as to how marijuana would be regulated by the state once it is legalized.
The passage of HB6703 would mark an enormous step in the right direction for cannabis rights advocates in the state of Connecticut. The top-down federal mandates that have failed for so many decades are being replaced by a more compassionate, decentralized approach that is responsive to the needs of the people.
Activists should embrace this tremendous opportunity to make it more difficult for individuals to be locked in cages for the non-violent non-crime of marijuana possession. The end of the federal drug war is on its way whether detractors like it or not. Measures such as HB6703 would help us toward that inevitable goal.
The bill has been referred to the Joint Judiciary Committee where it will need to pass through successfully before it can receive a full vote from the state house.
HOW TO SUPPORT THIS BILL
If you live in the state of Connecticut, contact your state legislators immediately. It is important for you to politely urge them to support and co-sponsor this important bill. That is how you can make a difference in the fight against cannabis prohibition.
If you live in different state, contact your state legislators and urge them to introduce a supporting bill to HB6703 such as our P.E.A.C.E (Preventing Excessive Allocations for Cannabis Enforcement) Act.