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Connecticut lawmakers mull pot legalization once again

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HARTFORD -

Some state lawmakers want to know how recreational marijuana might be regulated if Connecticut decides to someday legalize the drug.

The General Assembly's General Law Committee voted Thursday to raise the concept, the first step toward possible legislation.

Rep. Michael D'Agostino, of Hamden, says it's unclear whether the General Assembly might legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but agreed it makes sense for legislators to learn more about what a regulatory system would entail.

Rep. Vincent Candelora, of North Branford, opposes legalization and hopes "revenue pressures don't force a bad decision" by lawmakers hoping to balance Connecticut's budget.

A report found the projected costs of legalization would be over $200 million.

Candelora says while the money earned from taxation, $113 million, would benefit the state, the science and health factors make people uneasy.

Others agree citing an increase in accidents, crime and school suspensions in Colorado.

Candelora says these factors are a sign the state should not follow others in legalizing.

“We hear a lot of talk about the fact that Mass. and Vermont, two border states, have gone towards making marijuana more available, it’s enviable for Connecticut,” says Candelora. “That kind of pressure talk is astounding and personally offensive to me. I think just because another state is doing it, doesn't mean it’s a good idea for the state.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy says he still personally opposes legalized recreational pot, but will "cross that bridge when I come to it" if a bill reaches his desk.

The Connecticut House debated the issue of legalization back in June, but did not vote on it.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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