A legal committee in the state of Connecticut has shot down marijuana legislation that would have legalized the drug and allowed for recreational sales. The committee, known as the General Law Committee, voted against the legislation by a count of 11 to 6. One of the big reasons why the legislation was defeated was that lawmakers claim there were regulations missing that would handle people who grow the plant in their own yards.
The defeated legislation would have allowed for possession of up to six plants in a person’s backyard and lawmakers were concerned how that could be regulated and if those plants would affect the local neighborhoods.
“These are large plants,” said state Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, according to the Connecticut Post. “It’s going to be the Wild West. Who is going to police these plants in everyone’s backyards?”
The committee chair, State Senator Carlo Leone, a Democrat from Stamford, noted that there are at least four bills related to marijuana that the state government has to review and eventually vote on in the near future.
Marijuana has been decriminalized in Connecticut but is still illegal to use recreationally. Distributing less than one kilogram of the drug is punishable with up to seven years in jail and a possible fine of no more than $25,000. It is a felony charge too.
“Facing a drug charge in Connecticut is never easy, even when it is for a small amount of marijuana,” Connecticut Drug Lawyer Sean Barrett of Billings & Barrett, said. “You must be prepared to defend against any drug charge so be sure you know the law as it stands on the books right now.”
Connecticut is in the thick of the marijuana legalization movement in New England. Both Massachusetts and Maine voters approved initiatives on the ballot in the fall of 2016, with marijuana sales expected to begin this July in Massachusetts.