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Roach Revenue–Ganim Urges Legalization Of Pot

April 9th, 2018 · 25 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Development and Zoning, News and Events, State Politics

When it comes to legalizing pot, Mayor Joe Ganim is in the weeds. The Democratic candidate for governor on Monday urged the General Assembly to pass a “comprehensive, smart approach to legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana in Connecticut.” Under current Connecticut law marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes and decriminalized for small possessions. It’s unclear if it has enough support to pass this current session of the General Assembly that ends in May.

The proposed bill came out of a legislative committee last week mostly along party lines with a majority of Democrats in support. Backers of legalizing recreational weed say it could generate more than $100 million in tax revenue annually. Some states have legalized recreational marijuana including neighboring Massachusetts while many others have decriminalized it. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a hostile position against states that have legalized pot. Opponents to Sessions position, including some Republicans in Congress, argue its a states’ rights issue, leave it alone.

News release from Ganim:

Ganim recently submitted testimony to the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee favoring Senate Bill No. 487 sponsored by Senate President Marty Looney. The bill would allow anyone over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana for recreational use from state licensed retail outlets. Ganim’s testimony:
Testimony of Joe Ganim On Recreational Marijuana
“A legal regulated recreational marijuana industry would launch a new industry in Connecticut, create thousands of new jobs, and produce hundreds of millions of needed annual tax revenue for the state. It is time we treated and regulated marijuana the same way we treat alcohol or tobacco. It is long past time we in this country acknowledged that attitudes about marijuana have changed dramatically and it is time for us too in this land of steady habits to change with it,” said Ganim

“The entire New England region is moving towards legalizing recreational marijuana. Connecticut has already decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and established medical marijuana that has been safely and effectively regulated by the state. With the proper regulations in place, Connecticut should take the next step and legalize recreational marijuana” Ganim said.

Ganim added, “I have consulted with Governor John Hickenlooper’s team in Colorado and there is much we can learn from their experience as the first state to implement recreational marijuana. We should be smart about this and use best practices from states like Massachusetts who are moving deliberately towards retail sales of cannabis products later this year.”

Colorado had more than $1.5 billion in marijuana sales in 2015, generating more than $210 million in tax revenue. The industry has generated more than 20,000 jobs, Tax revenue in Colorado from sales of recreational marijuana is used for programs to fight addiction, and public health statistics show usage rates of cannabis products have not increased for any segment of the population.

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25 Comments so far ↓

  • Grin Ripper

    Corned Beef Blonde Lebanese Hash Brownies!

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

    Legalizing marijuana would generate a geat deal of tax revenue for the state and the municipaliies where it is sold. There would be no more talk of highway tolls, no more talk of casino expansion, no more raiding the transportation fund. Christ, there would be more than enough money to repair Connecticut’s raggedinfrastructure. But noooooooo, there are still a few moral hypocrites in the legislature, the same shmucks that voted against the expansion of liquor sales, the same shmucks that block educationl funding to the state’s cities.

  • Jeff Kohut

    Legalizing pot won’t accomplish very much fiscally for Connecticut. It will be much less than Colorado — much different culture and tourism draw — and will. of course, soon have plenty of surrounding competition…

    Legalize it, since it is on a moral par with alcohol anyway, but don’t expect to get much fiscal mileage out of it…

    The gubernatorial candidates seem to be trying to avoid to the real heavy lifting involved with the necessary redesigning of the Connecticut economy…

    Nothing to make anybody feel giddy here….

  • Gary Tobin

    One question, excluding tax revenue, what are the values of legalizing marijuana?

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      It will go a long way toward allieviating the logjam in the criminal courts, for one thing. Too many state residents are exposed to the judicial system because a hick cop in the ‘burbs caught them smoking a joint in the parking lot of a shopping center.

      Marijuana has many medicinal uses. It has been proven to cure some forms of cancer.

      • Gary Tobin

        Your top reason to legalize pot is because the people are arrested to often in suburb shopping centers and that that is causing a logjam in the “criminal” courts (Legalize to relieve the courthouse conjestion?).

        There has to be more than those reasons…

        I believe Connecticut has prescription pot already.

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          Tell me why marijuana is listed as a schedule 2 narcotic? Tell me why this plant, which has literally thousands of proven medicinal purposes including cancer treatment, is regarded by the federal government as a dangerous drug? The only “hazardous” side effect is is the potential for weight gain after the user succumbs to “the munchies”?

  • Gary Tobin

    Ganim added, “I have consulted with Governor John Hickenlooper’s team in Colorado and there is much we can learn from their experience as the first state to implement recreational marijuana.”
    –I’m guessing Mayor Ganim called Governor John Hickenlooper’s and got the answering machine and he calls that consulting.

    Colorado is a mess…
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/08/07/marijuana-devastated-colorado-dont-legalize-nationally-jeff-hunt-column/536010001/

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Gary – your opinion piece posted above has miss leading inflation and was written by a man who lead the charge to ban Beauty and the Beast, among other anti Christian things in his world. But at least you found something to support your views.
      https://prohbtd.com/9-fun-facts-about-the-man-who-just-claimed-marijuana-devastated-colorado

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        So has The Promised Land, California. If the Golden State has seen fit to legalize marijuana other states will follow. The opinion piece Mr. Tobin cited to support his parochial Republican world view is just so much bullshit. Christian conservatives wanted to ban “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Wizard of Oz” and anything else that does not support evangelical propaganda. Christian conservatives thought they heard Satanic messages in recordings by Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osborne and other hard rock bands. Thoughts and prayers, Mr. Tobin. Thoughts and prayers.

        It’s not just the tax revenue. The cultivation of marijuana creates jobs and commerce, just as other agricultural commodities do. Connecticut’s agricultural sector employs more than 12,000 in the production of dairy products and eggs, the cultivation of tobacco, fish and shellfish, and fruit. Don’t overlook the burgeoning wine, craft beer and distilled spirits industries. 

        Legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a win-win for Connecticut. it’s not just the potential tax revenue. It will create jobs in the agricultural and retail sectors, not to mention research on the medicinal applications of marijuana and its chemical components.  Top ten medical benefits of marijuana, from Health Fitness Revolution:

        1. May slim you down

        Studies have shown that marijuana users are generally slimmer than non-users. Marijuana lowers fasting insulin levels which may promote weight loss. According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, researchers have found marijuana users to have smaller weight circumferences, lower BMI’s, and lower obesity rates.

        2. THC may decrease the progression of Alzheimer’s 

        Molecular Pharmaceutics published in their journal that the active chemical in marijuana, THC, slows the process of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. Results published in an article by Maria L. de Ceballos, PhD, Group Leader in the Department of Neural Plasticity at the Cajal Institute in Spain, favor cannabis use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. She claims that “cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease.”

        3. May treat the inflammatory bowel diseases 

        University of Nottingham researchers found that chemicals in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, combine with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. THC-like compounds made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, preventing this permeability and making the intestinal cells bond together tighter.

        4. May protect the brain after a stroke and from bouts of epilepsy

        Research from the University of Nottingham shows that marijuana may help protect the brain from damage caused by stroke, by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke.  Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other traumatic events, like concussions. There is also research from proving that there are anti-convulsant benefits in patients that suffer from epilepsy.

        5. May reduce some of the pain and nausea from chemo and stimulate appetite

        Research has shown time and time again that marijuana use has helped reduce nausea in chemotherapy patients. Cancer patients being treated with chemotherapy suffer from nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, alleviating pain, decreasing nausea, and stimulating the appetite.

        6. May ease the pain of sclerosis 

        The THC in the pot binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain. Jody Corey-Bloom researched 30 sclerosis patients with contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other treatments, until smoking marijuana within a few days they felt less pain. Patients that participated in this study reported improved spasticity, muscle spasms, and quality of  sleep.

        7. May relieve arthritis pain 

        There is evidence stating the effect that those without cannabinoid receptors were more likely to develop osteoporosis. Marijuana alleviates pain which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis as researchers announced in 2011. 

Researchers from rheumatology units at multiple hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After a short time, people on Sativex had a major reduction in pain and improved compared to placebo users.

        8. May be used to treat Glaucoma 

        Marijuana use can be used to treat and prevent the eye disease glaucoma, which increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. According to the National Eye Institute: “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”

        Chemical found in Marijuana may help prevent cancer from spreading
        Cancer is the number one killer in the United States, with lung cancer leading as the most deadly form. There has also been significant research proving that cannabinoids such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) has anti-tumor effects against brain cancer, leukemia, lung cancer.

        Researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported in 2007 that cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical found in marijuana, may help prevent cancer from spreading. Cannabidiol stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1, the study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, found. Cancer cells make more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps them spread through the body.

        Researchers studied breast cancer cells in the lab that had high expression levels of Id-1 and treated them with cannabidiol. After treatment, the cells had decreased Id-1 expression and were less aggressive spreaders.

         10. May have The Power To Fight The Spread Of HIV

        Marijuana and the chemicals present within the plant have multitudes of medicinal benefits. A recent study has even depicted that tetrhydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in marijuana) can even help stop the spread of HIV, a deadly retrovirus which can develop into a life-threatening autoimmune disease called AIDS. It is even said that the utilization of this chemical can assist those who are within the late stages of AIDS. Research has also proven that cannabinoids, which are marijuana-like compounds, have yielded powerful anti-viral effects against HIV infection. These compounds also lessened nausea, neuropathic pain, and bodily weakness in patients suffering from the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Another study by UCLA, however, does state that smoking marijuana could harm HIV patients because the smoke could cause airway injury and suppresses the immune or exposes patients to an added burden of pathogens, but the marijuana smoke versus cannabinoids is unknown. Therefore, using cannabis in the treatment of HIV should be exercised with caution and monitored by a health professional.

        None of that is recreational.

        • Gary Tobin

          Im looking for the benefit of having tens of thousands of people stoned day in and day out.

          BPT Kid you don’t know me so don’t assume I’m a “parochial Republican”.

  • Bob Halstead

    He’s got my vote on this one.

  • charlie

    I am a libertarian so I think people have unlimited rights until the exercise of those rights interfere with somebody’s rights. I hope you all know Mass. has legalized recreational.

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    Lennie, brilliant headline on this post! Hilarious.

  • flubadub

    I cut and pasted this comment from Devon Wallace, a poster from CTNewsJunkie on the same topic as I think it gives a reasoned, positive response:

    Devon Wallace
    About half of the U.S. population has tried cannabis, at least 15% use it regularly, over 80% of high school seniors have reported cannabis “easy to get” for decades. Those who really want to use cannabis heavily already are. Prohibition does little or nothing to prevent problematic use. In many cases prohibition makes cannabis usage problematic where it would not have been otherwise, be it light, moderate, or heavy usage. For the most part, cannabis prohibition only successfully prohibits effective regulation.

    A few issues created by prohibition: there are no quality controls to reduce contaminants (harmful pesticides, molds, fungus, other drugs), there is no practical way to prevent regular underage sales, billions in tax revenue are lost which can be used for all substance abuse treatment, underground markets for all drugs are empowered as a far more popular substance is placed within them expanding their reach and increasing their profits, criminal records make pursuing many decent careers difficult, police and court resources are unnecessarily tied up by pursuing and prosecuting victimless ‘crimes’, public mistrust and disrespect for our legal system, police, and government is increased, which can be devastating to our country.

    Prohibition is also very expensive, though, a cash cow for a number of powerful groups such as those related to law enforcement and the prison industry. These organizations have powerful lobbies and influence that perpetuate a failed drug policy through ignorance, fear, disinformation and misinformation. This ensures an endless supply of lucrative contracts and grants from the government and its taxpayers to support their salaries, tools of the trade, and other expenses. Cash, property and other assets from civil forfeiture laws also significantly fatten their coffers while often violating civil rights.

    America was built on the principles of freedom and liberty. In some cases there are extreme circumstances that warrant intervention with criminal law. In the case of mind-altering drugs we have already set this precedent with alcohol. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and especially to others. If we are to have justice, then the penalties for using, possessing and selling cannabis should be no worse than those of alcohol

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