HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana will host a news conference on Tuesday with local municipal leaders to promote making marijuana legal for adults as a way to help fix budget issues in Connecticut. The coalition will urge lawmakers to consider regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol to help balance the state budget, create jobs, and diversify the sources of revenue available to local municipalities. The news conference will take place in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building at 12 p.m., according to a press release.
“Legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana could bring in tremendous revenue that can help reduce our state budget deficit and restore funding for our cities and schools,” said Dan Drew, mayor of Middletown and Democratic candidate for governor. “Enforcing prohibition is expensive, and then penalties of prohibition can ruin lives and weaken communities. Our municipalities shouldn't have to bear the burden of this failed system any longer.”
“This is the longest Connecticut has ever gone without a state budget, and municipalities like Hartford are among those hit hardest by this delay. Our cities and towns need the ability to diversify their revenue sources so they are less dependent on the state, and this includes regulating marijuana like alcohol,” said Hartford City Councilor Wildaliz Bermudez. “In Massachusetts, municipalities now have the option of adopting a 3% local tax on marijuana sales. A similar law would be welcomed by local officials in Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns.”
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.
“Connecticut is only one of two states in the nation that has not yet passed a budget. This has caused great uncertainty in towns and cities, and widespread talk of property tax increases,” said Jim Miron, former mayor of Stratford. “Before we burden the general public with more taxes, we should listen to majority of Connecticut voters and start taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. This would create much-needed jobs, help balance the state budget, and diversify revenues at the local level.”
WHAT: News conference with supporters promoting a proposal to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use as a means to help balance the budget and diversify revenue among localities
WHEN: Tuesday, September 12, at 12 p.m. ET
WHERE: Legislative Office Building, Room 1E, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford
WHO: Rep. Josh Elliott
Dan Drew, mayor of Middletown
Jim Miron, former mayor of Stratford
Sam Tracy, director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana