Connecticut Senate approves recreational marijuana bill, now awaits governor’s signature
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Connecticut Senate approves recreational marijuana bill, now awaits governor’s signature

The Connecticut state Senate on Thursday approved a bill allowing adults to use recreational marijuana.

Under the new bill, prior marijuana-related criminal convictions would be erased. Police will be unable to stop and search people or vehicles suspected of possessing marijuana for a cannabis odor. Schools would not be allowed to punish students more for cannabis possession than they would for alcohol possession.

Additionally, the bill aims to help communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, allowing members of these communities (dubbed “equity applicants” under the bill) to have a preference for cannabis business licenses.

Towns and cities can prohibit cannabis dispensaries, but towns and cities that allow dispensaries would collect a 3% local tax. Cannabis advertising will be limited, and marijuana smoking would be banned in workplaces, hotels, and state parks.

Marijuana is fully legal (recreationally and medically) in 15 states, and permitted for medical usage in 30 states. Only two states (Idaho and Nebraska) prohibit marijuana completely.

The bill passed on a 16 to 11 vote, and now awaits Governor Ned Lamont’s signature.