Although a marijuana-related bill that begs for an end to prohibition in Connecticut does not likely stand a chance in hell of becoming law under the thumb of Governor Dannel Malloy, one high-powered legislative force has revealed his intention of introducing one anyway.
Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney announced last week, just before the Christmas holiday, that he has pre-filed a piece of legislation aimed at establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis industry in the Land of Steady Habits.
Although the details of the proposal have not yet been made public, it will most likely call for adults 21 and over to have the freedom to purchase cannabis products in a manner similar how they do alcohol.
But even if the bill is well received next year in both chambers of the State Legislature, it could take some heavy-handed persuasion to get Governor Malloy to support it in ink.
Just last week Malloy called the legalization of marijuana a “mistake” and vowed to examine how the concept worked in Maine and Massachusetts before taking any similar action.
“I think it's a mistake,” he said, going on to suggest that the increased tax revenue would not make up for the losses the states would experience as a result of increased drug addiction.
"The proposal that passed on the ballot in Massachusetts was written by the people who want to grow and sell marijuana,” he said. “It's an entirely different tax package, and quite frankly, will not make the kind of money available to Massachusetts that will be made available in Colorado... I suspect that the monies that will be generated in Massachusetts will not pay for the programs necessary to treat the people who will become problematic.”
Yet, Malloy’s attitude has shifted a bit from where it was just after the November election, when he suggested a reexamination of his personal beliefs might be necessary.
"I have never been an advocate of that," Malloy said. "On the other hand, of course, when multiple states move in a direction you have to re-examine your own personal thoughts on the issue. I'm just like anybody else."
The good news is Governor Malloy is not completely shut off to the idea of legal weed. In fact, he got behind the state’s will to decriminalize the possession of small amounts in 2011, and then again, a year later, with respect to medical use.
We will just have to see where Governor Malloy stands on full legalization once the State Legislature begins discussing the issue in the coming months.
The new legislative session begins January 4.