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WIRE: Connecticut General Assembly to hold Wednesday hearing on cannabis legalization

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on S.B. 11, which would regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. At 9:30 a.m. ET, the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana (CCRM) will hold pre-hearing media availability at the First in Flight Café on the third floor of the Legislative Office Building. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET in Room 2C.

Coalition members will be joined at the media availability by John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution, and Timothy Johnson, a former police officer, who is representing Law Enforcement Action Partnership. Both also plan to testify during the hearing.

“Our state’s current marijuana prohibition policy is causing far more harm than good for our communities,” said CCRM Director Sam Tracy. “Connecticut voters overwhelmingly support regulating marijuana. This is a product that is objectively less harmful than alcohol. It should be produced and sold by licensed businesses, similarly to alcohol, rather than criminals in the underground market.”

S.B. 11, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven), would allow adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana or purchase it from licensed establishments. Marijuana sales would be taxed at a total rate of 30% (23.65% plus the standard 6.25% state sales tax).  The Liquor Control Commission would become the Liquor and Marijuana Control Commission, and it would be responsible for overseeing a tightly regulated system of marijuana retailers, cultivators, producers, and testing laboratories. Towns would be able to prohibit such establishments or adopt rules governing how, when, and where they can operate. The commission would create and enforce health and safety regulations, such as testing protocols, security requirements, labeling and packaging standards, and restrictions on marketing.

Looney and the sponsors of three similar proposals — Reps. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven), Toni Walker (D-New Haven), and Melissa Ziobron (R-East Haddam) — have agreed to work together to end marijuana prohibition in Connecticut and ensure whichever bill moves forward will create the best system possible for regulating and taxing marijuana.

Nearly two-thirds of Connecticut voters (63%) support making possession of small amounts of marijuana legal for adults, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll conducted in March 2015.

WHAT: Media availability prior to the Judicial Committee hearing on S.B. 11, a proposal to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use in Connecticut

WHEN: Wednesday, March 22, news conference at 9:30 a.m. ET; committee hearing begins at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: Media availability in the First in Flight Café on the third floor of the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford; committee hearing in Room 2C

WHO: Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, sponsor of S.B. 11

John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution

Becky Dansky, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project

Timothy Johnson, former police officer and representative of Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Sam Tracy, director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana


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The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is a coalition of citizens, organizations, and community leaders working to end marijuana prohibition in Connecticut and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit

Sam Tracy, Director

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