Connecticut legalizes recreational marijuana use

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Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday signed a law legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older and automatically erasing some marijuana-related convictions. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday signed a law legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older and automatically erasing some marijuana-related convictions. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 22 (UPI) -- Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed a law Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana use in the state.

The law legalizes recreational marijuana use for people 21 and older in the state beginning July 1, allows for recreational marijuana sales in May 2022 and includes provisions to erase prior marijuana convictions.

"For decades, the war on cannabis caused injustices and created disparities while doing little to protect public health and safety," Lamont said. "The law that I signed today begins to right some of those wrongs by creating a comprehensive framework for a regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, criminal justice and equity."

Under the law, people older than 21 will be able to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana on their person and no more than 5 ounces in their homes or locked in their vehicle's glove box.

Patients in the state's medical marijuana program will be able to grow three mature and three immature cannabis plants indoors at their home beginning Oct. 1 and all adults older than 21 will be allowed to grow "a similar number of plants" indoors beginning July 1, 2023.

The law also automatically erases "certain cannabis-related convictions" occurring between Jan. 1, 2000, and Oct. 1, 2015, and mandates that half of all initial recreational marijuana market licenses will be reserved for social equity applicants "targeting those communities that have been most negatively impacted by the so-called war on drugs."

Connecticut is the 18th state to legalize recreational marijuana use, along with Washington, D.C.

On the unofficial marijuana holiday "4/20" in April, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called for marijuana to be decriminalized at the federal level within the next year.

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