One Group Has a Plan They Say Could Bring 20,000 New Jobs to ConnecticutDecember 4, 2017
Legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana could be a job and revenue boon to the state, argues Regulate Connecticut, a pro-marijuana group.
How can Connecticut attract new jobs – maybe up to 20,000 – and bring in much-needed tax revenue to a state starved for cash?
One group says: legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.
On Friday, Reclaim Connecticut spoke to Sam Tracy of Regulate Connecticut, a group that advocates for “ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”
Tracy argued the group’s proposals have economic benefits, in addition to ending unfair stigma around the use of marijuana.
20,000 JOBS, $200M IN REVENUE
Tracy spoke often about the economic benefits of legalizing and regulating marijuana in the state of Connecticut, arguing a set of policies could create “about 20,000 jobs here in Connecticut.”
In other words, it’s “a whole new industry where we could have investment from all around the country,” Tracy argued.
Tracy also mentioned the tax revenue benefits, if the state follows similar tax rates levied by Colorado and Massachusetts, who have legalized marijuana.
Connecticut could see “about $200 million in annual tax revenue coming in to this state,” according to Tracy. That’s a significant number for a state facing deficits in the $1 billion-plus range for the fiscal years after the next two.
“It could be a pretty big revenue-driver,” Tracy said.
Reclaim Connecticut asked Tracy how he’d respond to those who may be concerned about the social impact of legalizing marijuana in the state.
“One of the main reasons for pushing for legalization is the idea of small government,” Tracy said. And “not legislating morality and trying to force decisions upon individuals.”
“It is objectively true that marijuana is safer than alcohol in pretty much every important way,” Tracy added. “As long as we’re allowing alcohol … we need to make sure the government isn’t being hypocritical.”
Tracy noted the Connecticut legislature has made progress on the issue in recent years. “Every year the debate has advanced further,” he said.
This year, 2017, “was the first time we ever had public hearings before committees.”
“It has gotten a lot further,” Tracy concluded.
First, though, they’ll have to get past Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.). According to the Hartford Courant, Malloy “blasted the legalization of recreational marijuana” in December 2016.
“First of all, I think it’s a mistake what Massachusetts has done and other states have done,” Malloy told reporters in Hartford. “I think we should hit the pause button and watch how it works in the region. … I think it’s a mistake.”
But clearly, according to Regulate Connecticut, the momentum on the issue is forward in 2017.
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