Connecticut Democratic legislative leaders say they remain confident that a marijuana legalization bill that cleared the Senate early Tuesday morning will advance through the House and get to the governor before the end-of-session deadline on Wednesday—but Republicans are calling for the legislation to be slowed down and taken back up in a special session.
Gov. Ned Lamont (D), for his part, said after the Senate vote that he’s looking forward to signing the measure should it arrive on his desk, applauding the chamber for passing it with some level of bipartisanship.
Last night, a bipartisan group of state Senators passed legislation legalizing the adult-use and possession of cannabis. I applaud their actions👏.
Read my full statement on the Senate’s passage of the measure and its next steps. pic.twitter.com/G6mjdFTjOc
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) June 8, 2021
“The war on cannabis, which was at its core a war on people in Black and Brown communities, not only caused injustices and increased disparities in our state, it did little to protect public health and safety,” he said. “This measure is comprehensive, protects our children and the most vulnerable in our communities, and will be viewed as a national model for regulating the adult-use cannabis marketplace.”
There are only two days left to move the bill through the House if lawmakers want to avoid a special session, however. And while both the governor and leadership has indicated that they’d prefer to avoid taking that route, House Speaker Matt Ritter (D) said on Tuesday that it’s one piece of “leverage” Democrats have if legalization opponents attempt to kill the reform proposal by running out the clock.
“I always think the best thing we can do is try to get all of our business done by midnight,” he said at a briefing.