Connecticut’s legislature has approved a bill legalizing marijuana for recreational, the 18th state to do so. There is no exact date for when the bill would go into effect yet.

The vote passed on Wednesday with a 76–62 final count. A series of changes have been made in response to Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) threat to veto the bill.

State Rep. Steven Stafstrom (D) spoke to the press, ahead of the vote, stating: “Today we take the next step as this chamber in recognizing that the war on drugs has failed us and the criminalization of cannabis was the wrong course of action for our state and for our nation.”

Both Democrats and Republicans have spoken out against the bill. Many have cited public safety and health concerns, especially for young people. State Rep. Tom O’Dea (R) spoke harshly against the bill. “People will die because of this bill, because of marijuana being sold in Connecticut,” he said.

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Social equity rules are central to the bill. An amendment was made which expands “allowing people with past cannabis arrests and convictions, as well as their parents, children and spouses, to qualify for social equity status when applying for marijuana business licenses. Previously the bill limited eligibility only to people who reside in areas that have been disproportionately affected by drug war convictions and arrests.”

Anyone whose income is three times the state’s median income, does not qualify for social equity status, under any circumstances.

Other states, such as Minnesota, also are moving forward with legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

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