Connecticut: Cannabis Legalization Is Ready For A House Vote – Act Now
A big push has been underway to legalize cannabis in Connecticut, led by the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. Clifford Robinson is a proud member of the coalition and has had a special place in his heart for reform efforts in Connecticut ever since he attended college at the University of Connecticut (class of 1989).
With surrounding states looking more and more likely to legalize cannabis sooner rather than later, Connecticut would be smart to get on the right side of history.
The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana sent out an action alert today, which can be found below. If you live in Connecticut, please do what you can. If you don’t live in Connecticut but know those that do, please share the below message with them:
HB 5394 — a bill to move Connecticut towards legalizing and regulating marijuana — received a calendar number yesterday! This means that, procedurally speaking, it can be called for a vote in the House at any time (or it could never get acted on).
Now comes our biggest challenge: Making sure we have a majority of representatives committed to voting “yes” to replace marijuana prohibition with sensible regulation.
Please call your state representative TODAY. Just click on this link, fill in your address, and our automated system will provide your representative’s number along with talking points to help you decide what you want to say.
Polls show that 71% of Connecticut residents want to end marijuana prohibition. But for this bill to pass, it is crucial that lawmakers hear that this is an issue their constituents care about.
So, please, make the phone call today. Then, spread the word so that, together, we can make history in the Constitution State.
Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana
Connecticut House Appropriations Committee Approves Cannabis Legalization Bill
Clifford Robinson is a very proud member of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana which has been working to make cannabis legalization a reality in Connecticut. Robinson played college basketball at the University of Connecticut from 1985-1989 and is a member of UConn’s Men’s Basketball All-Century Team.
The Uncle Cliffy team is happy to announce that a cannabis legalization bill was approved by a committee in Connecticut’s Legislature today. More information about today’s victory can be found below via a press release issued by the Marijuana Policy Project:
The Joint Committee on Appropriations approved a bill that would legalize and regulate marijuana for adults in Connecticut on Thursday, potentially setting it up for floor consideration before the end of this year’s legislative session.
HB 5394, which was introduced by the committee, would task the commissioners of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Consumer Protection and Revenue Services with developing regulations for possession and retail sales of marijuana for adults 21 and older. More details will be added to the bill as it moves forward over the coming weeks.
“This committee vote reiterates what most Connecticut residents already know: it is time to make marijuana legal for adults,” said Becky Dansky, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The discussions that have taken place in the legislature this year have provided more than enough information to effectively move forward with legalization. Connecticut should stop punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol, and it has an opportunity to regulate marijuana before it starts losing tax revenue to other states in the region that have already started this process.”
There are nine states that have made marijuana legal for adults, as well as the District of Columbia. Neighboring Massachusetts is in the process of implementing its regulated marijuana market, and in nearby New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has made legalizing and regulating marijuana a priority this year.
A poll conducted by Sacred Heart University in October 2017 showed that 71% of Connecticut residents support regulating and taxing marijuana for adults.
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The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is a coalition of citizens, organizations, and community leaders working to end marijuana prohibition in Connecticut and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit https://www.RegulateCT.org.
Connecticut: Hartford City Council Unanimously Endorses Cannabis Legalization
Clifford Robinson played college basketball at the University of Connecticut (UConn) from 1986-1989. He helped lead the UConn Huskies to the NIT championship in 1988 and is a member of the UConn Men’s Basketball All-Century team.
Robinson is also a proud member of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana sent out the following press release with amazing news out of Hartford yesterday. See below:
At a meeting Monday evening, the Hartford Court of Common Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution in support of making cannabis legal and regulated for adults in Connecticut.
The resolution specifically recommends that the Hartford Delegation of elected representatives support the passage of state legislation to legalize and tax cannabis in 2018 and insist on measures to ensure racial equity in ownership and employment in the resulting cannabis industry. It also directs the city to conduct an economic impact study for a potential cannabis industry in Hartford and hold public forums to hear from residents.
“By passing this resolution, we put ourselves in a position to ensure the implementation of marijuana regulation is grounded in racial and economic justice,” said Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez, who sponsored the resolution.
“The city of Hartford should be commended for publicly endorsing legalization and joining the voices throughout the state that are calling for sensible marijuana policies,” said Sam Tracy, director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. “The legislature should heed this growing chorus for change and make regulating marijuana for adults a priority in 2018.”
A Sacred Heart University poll released in October showed that 71% of Connecticut residents support legalizing and taxing marijuana for adults.
Marijuana is legal for adults in eight states, including Massachusetts and Maine, and the District of Columbia. At least 21 states are expected to have bills to regulate marijuana introduced in their 2018 legislative sessions.
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The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is a coalition of citizens, organizations, and community leaders working to end marijuana prohibition in Connecticut and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit https://www.regulatect.org/
Connecticut Misses Opportunity To End Harmful Cannabis Prohibition
Possessing more than 14 grams of cannabis in Connecticut is a crime, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Distributing or cultivating any amount of cannabis in Connecticut is a felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The penalties increase as the amount of cannabis involved increases. Cannabis prohibition in Connecticut has a disproportionate impact on minority communities. An example of that would be in New Caanan, Connecticut where nearly half of all cannabis penalties are given to African Americans even though they make up only about 1 percent of the town’s population.
Cannabis prohibition has obviously failed in Connecticut, and the Uncle Cliffy team was hopeful that cannabis legalization would be included in Connecticut’s next budget. The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, which Clifford Robinson is a member of, has been pushing lawmakers for months to include legalization in its budget. Connecticut has been facing huge budget gaps, and while taxing and regulating cannabis would not fix all of Connecticut’s budget woes, it would certainly help. Unfortunately, Connecticut’s budget was approved this week without cannabis legalization provisions being included, as outlined in a message sent by Regulate Connecticut to its supporters this week:
On Tuesday, Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a $41.3 billion, two-year state budget that increases taxes by approximately $1 billion over that period. That number could have been significantly reduced had the budget included taxing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use.
The budget also cuts municipal aid, higher education funding, social services, and tens of millions of dollars from energy conservation programs. According to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, when the subsequent governor and General Assembly begin drafting the next budget, they will be facing a deficit of approximately $4.6 billion unless a new source of revenue is created.
It is deeply disappointing that lawmakers missed this opportunity to enact commonsense marijuana policies that could have generated a new source of revenue, thereby saving the state money while creating new jobs and causing a major increase in tourism.
However, this conversation is not over in Connecticut. When lawmakers return in February, we will continue the fight to enact legalization in 2018. In the meantime, please keep talking to lawmakers about this issue, educate your friends and family, and stay tuned for other ways to help in the fight!
The University of Connecticut (UConn), where Clifford Robinson proudly went to college and is a member of the All-Century Men’s Basketball Team, now faces a budget cut of $134 million dollars over the course of the next two years. Legalization would generate over $360 million dollars for Connecticut according to recent estimates. Taxing and regulating cannabis in Connecticut literally has the potential to eliminate budget cuts at UConn and help fill in other budget gaps that other Connecticut institutions are now facing.
The Uncle Cliffy team will keep pushing for legalization in Connecticut, and urges you to do the same if you live there. A recent poll conducted by Sacred Heart University Institute for Public Policy found that ‘more than two out of three residents (70.6%) either “strongly support” or “somewhat support” legalizing and taxing marijuana’ in Connecticut. That level of support is up from 63% from just two years ago. Clearly the citizens of Connecticut want lawmakers to take a more sensible approach to cannabis policy. Connecticut lawmakers need to do what is right and free the plant.
UConn Is Facing Drastic Budget Cuts And Cannabis Legalization Can Help
Cliff Robinson played basketball at the University of Connecticut (UConn) from 1985-1989, and led the UConn Huskies to a NIT Championship in 1988. Cliff was named to the NIT All-Tournament team that year and was later selected to UConn’s ‘All-Century Men’s Basketball team.’ Robinson’s college number (’00’) was retired at Gampel Pavilion in 2007. Cliff Robinson is proud to be a Husky, and will always have a special place in his heart for the University of Connecticut.
The University of Connecticut is facing drastic proposed budget cuts over the next two years – $150 million dollars a year to be exact. A budget hit like that would have a harmful impact on UConn and its students, and therefore it should be avoided if at all possible. Creating tax revenue out of thin air is not an easy task, but it is not impossible, at least not for the state of Connecticut.
Connecticut is one of a number of states looking into updating its harmful cannabis laws. To date eight states have legalized cannabis for adult use. Washington D.C. has also implemented a cannabis legalization law. Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy wherever it exists, and Connecticut’s current prohibition law is no exception. Cannabis legalization is beneficial in many ways, which is being proven every day in states that have ended cannabis prohibition for adult use. Cannabis legalization creates jobs, it saves money by not requiring law enforcement to enforce prohibition, it helps reduce the impact of institutional racism that goes along with cannabis prohibition, and it generates much needed tax revenues. Legalization in Connecticut has so much tax revenue potential that it could help UConn fix its budget woes.
The push for legalization in Connecticut is being led by Regulate Connecticut, which is an organization that Cliff Robinson is a proud member of. Regulate Connecticut has been working with lawmakers in Connecticut to include cannabis legalization in the state’s next budget. In May, both House and Senate Democrats released a budget proposal in Connecticut that included the regulating and taxing of cannabis. Unfortunately, subsequent House Democratic budgets omitted legalization.
Those subsequent budget proposals failed. As it stands right now, Connecticut does not have a budget, and negotiations are at a standstill. That means that there’s still a chance that cannabis legalization could be included in Connecticut’s next budget. According to Regulate Connecticut, legalization would generate an estimated $180 million dollars a year. Cannabis tax revenues in some legal states have exceeded initial tax revenue projections, so the estimate cited by Regulate Connecticut could actually prove to be lower than what may occur if/when Connecticut legalizes.
$180 million dollars in annual cannabis tax revenue is obviously more than enough to cover UConn’s current budget shortfall. Cannabis legalization in Connecticut could also generate more than 19,000 jobs, many of which could be filled by UConn graduates. With 63% of Connecticut voters supporting such a policy change, lawmakers need to step up and get Connecticut on the right side of history.
If you live in Connecticut, contact your legislators and let them know that you support cannabis legalization and that it should be included in Connecticut’s next budget. Also, consider getting involved with Regulate Connecticut and/or supporting their effort with a financial contribution. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Regulate Connecticut on Facebook and Twitter, and tell others to do the same. Do your part and help free the plant!
Cannabis Regulation Needs To Be Included In Connecticut’s Budget
Earlier this year Clifford Robinson joined a coalition that is seeking to end cannabis prohibition in Connecticut. Having played at the University of Connecticut from 1985-1989, Cliff has always had a special place in his heart for the state of Connecticut. During his college experience Cliff saw the harms of Connecticut cannabis prohibition firsthand, and has always advocated for a more sensible approach to cannabis policy in the state.
Lawmakers in Connecticut are currently in the midst of crafting the state’s next budget, which provides for an opportunity for cannabis legalization and regulation to be included in it. That is something that the Uncle Cliffy team absolutely supports, and is encouraging others to support too. Below is an action alert from the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana which is leading the legalization effort in the state. If you are a Connecticut resident, please participate in the action alert and encourage others to do the same:
As fall approaches, Connecticut lawmakers are still struggling to reach a budget compromise. In May, both House and Senate Democrats released a budget proposal that included the regulating and taxing of marijuana, acknowledging that regulating marijuana like alcohol is a necessary part of a responsible budget solution. However, subsequent House Democratic budgets omitted marijuana legalization. Currently, cities and towns across Connecticut are facing devastating cuts that will result in widespread property tax increases for most residents. Taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol could avert local property tax increases and bring new revenue to the table.
Call your representatives, and let him or her know you want marijuana regulation included in the budget! Our action page makes it fast and easy — providing the lawmaker’s phone number and name, in addition to talking points.
Or, if you aren’t able to make a call, write your lawmakers a quick letter.
Let your lawmakers know 63% of Connecticut residents support legalization, not just because it will generate needed tax revenue, but also because regulation would have public health and safety benefits.
Elected officials are facing many tough choices during the budget debate. It is vital they hear from constituents who support marijuana regulation as the right choice for Connecticut.
Please take a few minutes to write or call your legislator, and share our posts on Facebook and Twitter to encourage your friends to make calls, too.
CT Coalition to Regulate Marijuana
Cliff Robinson Joins The Connecticut Coalition To Regulate Marijuana
Cliff Robinson played on the University of Connecticut (UConn) men’s basketball team from 1985-1989, and led the Huskies to a NIT Championship in 1988. Robinson was named to the 1988 NIT All-Tournament team. Robinson was later selected to UConn’s ‘All-Century Men’s Basketball team,’ and had his college number (’00’) retired at Gampel Pavilion in 2007. Cliff Robinson is proud to be a Husky, and will always have a special place in his heart for the State of Connecticut.
Connecticut is a beautiful state that unfortunately has a cannabis prohibition problem. Other states in the region have voted to end cannabis prohibition already (Maine and Massachusetts), along with Washington D.C.. Vermont is on the verge of legalizing cannabis via legislative action, with a legalization bill sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Other states in the region such as Rhode Island and Delaware are taking a serious look at the idea of getting on the right side of history when it comes to cannabis policy.
Unlike other states that have legalized cannabis via a citizen initiative process, the only way to end cannabis prohibition in Connecticut is via the legislative process. An effort is underway in Connecticut, known as the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, which is calling for the Connecticut Legislature to end cannabis prohibition in the state. Such a move would be supported by Connecticut voters according to polling. A 2015 survey by Quinnipiac University found that 63% of Connecticut voters support legalization, with only 34% opposed.
Cliff Robinson has joined the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana because it is a sensible move that would not only generate tax dollars and jobs in Connecticut, it would also help put an end to the social justice issues that come along with prohibition. Issues such as racial profiling and selective enforcement of prohibition laws, which result in disproportionate arrest rates for in minority and low income communities. Cannabis is 114 times safer than alcohol, and should be regulated in a similar fashion. Just as regulation helps keep alcohol away from children, so too will regulating cannabis help achieve the same objective. Cannabis is not going away in Connecticut, and there is no need to let cartels and gangs control the market, not when there is a better way.
Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis in 2012. Since that time both states have generated enormous sums of tax revenue from regulated adult-use cannabis sales. In 2016 alone the State of Colorado generated almost $200 million from cannabis taxes and fees, which is being used to fund all types of things from housing for the homeless, to schools, to addiction treatment programs. Washington State is predicted to generate an even larger amount of cannabis tax revenue in 2017 than Colorado. From a fiscal standpoint, and from a social justice standpoint, legalization is clearly working in both states.
Cliff Robinson is joined on the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana by many other respected community leaders:
Robert Hoffman – Former Chief of Police in Plainfield, CT
David Bingham, MD – Physician (retired)
Gregory Adams, PhD – Chair of Sociology Department at Southern Connecticut State University
Jim Miron, JD – Former Mayor of Stratford, CT
Aaron Romano, JD – Criminal Defense Attorney; Former Prosecutor
Jeff Miron, PhD – Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University
Ryan Safner, PhD – Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Hood College; UConn graduate
Cliff Thornton – Founder of Efficacy; 2006 Green Party Candidate for Governor
Marla Ackerley – Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Frank Mastri – Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC)
Kebra Smith-Bolden – Registered Nurse (RN)
Rev. Amanda Nelson – Clergy
Rev. Julia Burkey – Clergy
Rabbi Shaul Marshall Praver – Clergy
Rev. Hugh Haffenreffer – Clergy
Rev. Nichole Grant Yonkman – Clergy
Danielle Graham, JD – Attorney
Wildaliz Bermudez – Hartford City Councilwoman
A number of organizations and Connecticut media outlets have also endorsed the effort, with more being added all the time.
“I have seen the failures of cannabis prohibition in Connecticut firsthand. Cannabis prohibition disproportionately harms minority communities wherever prohibition exists, and Connecticut is no exception. The citizens of the great State of Connecticut deserve a better policy like the one that the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is proposing. Other states have made similar moves with great success. Legalization clearly works and it’s beyond time for the Connecticut Legislature to step up and do what is right.” said Cliff Robinson.
Connecticut is facing a hug budget deficit. Cannabis can’t fill the entire void, but it can definitely help, both in the form of taxes generated and via the savings that come from no longer enforcing a failed public policy. The Uncle Cliffy team encourages others to join the effort in Connecticut. Free the plant!