Push to legalize marijuana in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Will Connecticut be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana? Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska and Washington D.C. have already done it. There is now a bill in front of our state legislature that would make recreational marijuana legal in Connecticut. Backers say it would help with the state’s budget deficit, but is it a good idea?

Last year, one lawmaker tested the waters and floated a bill legalizing marijuana; it never made it up for a vote. This year, it is, back again but many people are coming out adamantly opposed to it because of the heroin epidemic sweeping Connecticut. Research shows that marijuana can lead to harder drugs like heroin. Mother Tammy Delacruz told us how her son’s serious drug habit all started with pot.

“My son shortly after graduation was disappointed that he wasn’t heading off to the college she wanted to. Marijuana was his first choice and he moved to Percocets very quickly.”

Delacruz says her son has been able to get help and stay clean since last year. And she’s telling her story in hopes she can save other mothers some pain.

“It does have to get out there and to show that everybody’s life matters. Addiction is a disease and it has to be recognized for what it is.”

While it is known that marijuana is a gateway drug, it goes way beyond that. According to a drug counselor we talked to, Dr. Craig Allen works for Rushford and they see people who come in were addicted to marijuana and people think of it as a spaced out, laid-back drug, but it can have some serious repercussions.

“We know that marijuana itself in some cases can lead to psychosis.”

Governor Malloy believes Connecticut should not legalize marijuana. In 2011, he did decriminalized the drug, which he says resulted in 8,000 fewer arrests, and from there the state approved medical marijuana.

“We did the next most important thing to make it available for medical treatment and that’s as far as I’m comfortable going, but certainly every member of the legislature is entitled to their own opinion and we’ll see what happens.”

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