Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim is urging state leaders that its' time to legalize recreational marijuana.
In an effort to make that happen, Ganim who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, recently testified in front of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee to offer support for the bill which would allow anyone over 21 to purchase marijuana from state-licensed retail outlets.
“A legal regulated recreational marijuana industry would launch a new industry in Connecticut, create thousands of new jobs, and produce hundreds of millions of needed annual tax revenue for the state," Ganim said Monday.
Ganim added that it was time to treat marijuana the same way alcohol or tobacco is treated.
"It is long past time we in this country acknowledged that attitudes about marijuana have changed dramatically and it is time for us too in this land of steady habits to change with it,” said Ganim.
The bill, Senate Bill No. 487, passed a key legislative committee last week and is headed to the House for consideration.
Ganim is encouraged and pointed to other states in the region moving towards legalizing recreational marijuana: "Connecticut has already decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and established medical marijuana that has been safely and effectively regulated by the state. With the proper regulations in place, Connecticut should take the next step and legalize recreational marijuana,” Ganim said.
The Mayor has consulted with Gov. John Hickenlooper’s team in Colorado in an effort to learn from their mistakes, and to pick up best practices.
"We should be smart about this and use best practices from states like Massachusetts who are moving deliberately towards retail sales of cannabis products later this year,” Ganim added.
Colorado had more than $1.5 billion in marijuana sales in 2015, generating more than $210 million in tax revenue and more than 20,000 jobs.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.