The effort to legalize marijuana in Connecticut will get a boost in 2019 from the state’s incoming governor, who says that the policy change will be one of his priorities in the new year.
“It’s something I would support, and I don’t want the black market controlling marijuana distribution in our state,” Gov.-elect Ned Lamont (D) told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “I think that’s a lousy way to go.”
“We’re going to have a legislative session. It’s going to be one of the priorities.”
Lamont suggested that legalization in nearby jurisdictions provides extra incentive to legalize cannabis sooner rather that later.
“Canada, Massachusetts, others are doing it,” he said. “That’s going to lead to some enforcement things. In the meantime we enforce Connecticut laws.”
Watch Lamont’s new marijuana comments roughly 17 minutes into the video below:
During his gubernatorial campaign, Lamont said that legalizing marijuana is “an idea whose time has come” and suggested that cannabis is not a gateway drug.
The time has come for Connecticut to responsibly legalize marijuana. pic.twitter.com/lE50Xb8yAl
— Ned Lamont (@NedLamont) August 28, 2018
Legal recreational cannabis sales are set to begin in neighboring Massachusetts on Tuesday.
A report to Lamont’s transition team from the state Office of Policy and Management last week said that Connecticut “could also access additional revenue from any newly authorized activities such as…recreational marijuana sales.”
Current Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the state’s marijuana decriminalization and medical cannabis policies into law but has opposed broader legalization.
A poll this summer found that 59 percent of Connecticut voters support legalizing marijuana.
Lamont is one of several new incoming Democratic governors across the country who campaigned on marijuana legalization.