Connecticut Senate approves legal marijuana bill

National News

An activist rolls a joint during a protest against the prohibition of bearing a minimum dose of marijuana for personal use, in Bogota on September 6, 2018. – The government is preparing a decree that empowers the police to confiscate small quantities of drugs to consumers. (Photo by Raul ARBOLEDA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images)

CONNECTICUT — The Connecticut Senate has narrowly approved a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana for adults.

The 19-17 vote early Tuesday came hours after proponents announced they reached a compromise on how to ensure the new industry will benefit those residents adversely affected by the nation’s war on drugs.

Under the bill, it would be legal for people 21 years and older to possess and use limited amounts of cannabis beginning July 1.

Democratic Sen. Gary Winfield says the legislation addresses how the war on drugs decimated communities. But Republican Sen. John Kissel says the legislation is a mistake.

“I applaud the Senate’s bipartisan passage of the bill to legalize the adult-use of cannabis,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement Tuesday morning. “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.

The bill now heads to the House.

Lamont said he looked forward to the House passing the measure and sending it to his desk so he could sign it into law.

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