Legalizing Pot And Marijuana Tax Revenues To Be Focus Of Connecticut Legislative Hearing

Wednesday's big legislative hearing on legalizing pot in Connecticut may have more to do with the state's huge money problems than with the issues surrounding marijuana use.

The bill to legalize recreational cannabis calls for a total state tax on pot sales of 30 percent, and the plan's supporters say that could bring in $100 million a year to help solve projected billion-dollar deficits.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has called the potential influx of pot tax revenue "blood money," and other opponents warn of the social, legal and financial troubles surrounding cannabis use. Many lawmakers are clearly uncomfortable with the idea of approving recreational marijuana and don't think it can pass this year.

But the Senate's Democratic leader, Martin M. Looney of New Haven, thinks the financial crisis may convince a lot of doubters to vote for legalization.

"I think the chances will increase as our budget difficulties increase and time...

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