The effort to legalize marijuana in Connecticut will get a boost in 2019 from the state's incoming governor, who says that the policy change will be one of his priorities in the new year.
“It's something I would support, and I don't want the black market controlling marijuana distribution in our state,” Democratic Gov.-elect Ned Lamont told reporters at a press conference Nov. 19, 2018. “I think that's a lousy way to go.”
“We're going to have a legislative session. It's going to be one of the priorities.”
Lamont suggested that legalization in nearby jurisdictions provides extra incentive to legalize cannabis sooner rather than later.
During his gubernatorial campaign, Lamont said that legalizing marijuana is “an idea whose time has come” and suggested that cannabis is not a gateway drug.
The time has come for Connecticut to responsibly legalize marijuana. pic.twitter.com/lE50Xb8yAl
— Ned Lamont (@NedLamont) August 28, 2018
Legal recreational cannabis sales were set to begin in neighboring Massachusetts on Nov. 20, 2018.
A report to Lamont's transition team from the state Office of Policy and Management in mid-November 2018 said that Connecticut “could also access additional revenue from any newly authorized activities such as…recreational marijuana sales.”
Current Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the state's marijuana decriminalization and medical cannabis policies into law but has opposed broader legalization.
A poll in summer 2018 found that 59 percent of Connecticut voters support legalizing marijuana.
Lamont is one of several new incoming Democratic governors across the country who campaigned on marijuana legalization.