Why shouldn’t Connecticut lawmakers be worried about potential revenue being lost to New England states? Massachusetts borders the entire northern portion of Connecticut and so residents will easily be able to travel to Massachusetts to purchase recreational marijuana, which is set for a July 1st kickoff. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are all working on implementing recreational marijuana rules too.
The economic pressure for states to legalize marijuana might be the greatest force behind the legalization movement at this point. It may have started through the intense will of people like Dennis Perron, but it is money that is going to eliminate federal prohibition of marijuana ultimately.
It’s imperative that we have robust conversations about cannabis, as more states around us consider legalization,” said State Rep. Melissa Ziobron, R-East Haddam. “Let’s examine all the potential regulatory models and get the feedback from our communities we represent.”
State Rep. Mike D’Agostino, D-Hamden and co-chairman of the general law committee, also said it’s time to have a debate over marijuana.
“As more neighboring states in New England move forward with legalizing cannabis use by adults, it is crucial that we have an open and transparent conversation regarding how we would do the same in Connecticut,” D’Agostino said.
“In many ways, answering the question of how we would oversee and permit adult use is a necessary precursor to deciding whether we will do so, as I think we should,” D’Agostino said.
The potential tax revenue that can come in from cannabis sales are very attractive to voters to help repair roads and create a better and safer public school environment. Other states are reaping the benefits of a legal cannabis industry and so how can other states ignore it? The entirety of the east coast may end up legalizing marijuana in some capacity, but it is in the northeast that it is beginning.