Jun 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Connecticut becomes 19th state to legalize marijuana

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) speaking during a press conference in February 2021.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) speaking during a press conference in February 2021. Photo Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed a bill on Tuesday legalizing the use and sale of marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Why it matters: Connecticut is now the 19th state in the country, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize marijuana for non-medical use.

  • Five states have voted to legalize marijuana legislatively this year alone.
  • South Dakota also voted to legalize marijuana in a ballot measure in November, but it's currently being challenged in court.

Details: Starting July 1, residents 21 years old or older across Connecticut will be allowed to possess 1.5 ounces of marijuana on their person and five ounces in their home or vehicle's glove box or trunk.

  • The commercial sale of cannabis in the state will not start until May 2022.

What they're saying: “This legislation recognizes that the responsible use of marijuana by adults should not be a crime, and that those who carry the stigma of a criminal record for their past use of cannabis should receive relief," said Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

  • "Regulating cannabis, rather than criminalizing it, has proven to be a superior public policy — which is why more and more states are rapidly moving in this direction," Armentano added.

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