Connecticut lawmakers are turning to marijuana to fill a few potholes on the road to balancing the Constitution State’s budget. Yesterday, Democratic legislators introduced a budget that includes legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana as a means to balance the books amid the state’s financial crisis.
Connecticut is projected to run budget deficits of up to $5 billion over the next two years. Legalization won’t fix that, but the green could soak up some of the red ink pouring from the state’s ledger. Lawmakers supporting the budget estimate that recreational cannabis could reap almost $250 million in tax revenue by the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
Activists say the move would also shore up the state’s finances by creating new jobs for Connecticuters (yes, that’s what they’re called). Legalization could also offer new financial ventures for existing businesses.
“The Democrats’ proposal to regulate marijuana for adults would generate significant new tax revenue in addition to creating jobs for residents and business opportunities for other local industries,” Sam Tracy — Director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana — said via press release.