[Alexandria , VA, April 6, 2017] – Yesterday, a broad coalition of public health experts, elected officials, educators, and concerned citizens made significant headway in the effort to stop marijuana legalization in Connecticut. Senate Bill 11 died without a vote in the House Judiciary Committee last night. The bill would have legalized the commercialization of marijuana in Connecticut and permitted retail sales in marijuana stores throughout the state. SAM’s Connecticut affiliate was the primary coalition organizer and SB11 opponent.
“This is a major setback for marijuana legalization,” said SAM President and CEO Kevin A. Sabet. “This year, states are refusing to import the host of public health and safety consequences we’ve seen in places like Colorado: more kids getting high, more stoned drivers on the roads, and more people being driven into treatment for addiction. The Big Marijuana special interests are trying to sell Connecticut the lie that marijuana legalization can fix the state’s budget deficit – thankfully Connecticut is realizing that like the lottery, these funds are less than expected. All they have to do is look to Colorado, where the state deficit is growing, not shrinking. “
“The first rule any doctor or public health official bears in mind is to do no harm,” said Dr. Yifrah Kaminer, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at University of Connecticut School of Medicine. “Legalizing marijuana would seriously harm public health and safety in our state. States like Colorado show us that more youth use marijuana and develop substance use disorders post-legalization. This experiment is rightly being rejected. I’m proud Connecticut took a crucial step toward protecting the physical and mental health of our children today.”
“Connecticut residents do not want pot shops in our state – or the accompanying Big Marijuana special interest lobby,” said Connecticut SAM member John Daviau. “In states that have legalized marijuana, we’ve seen the commercialization of a drug we know to be harmful. Marijuana legalization is ultimately about making a very small group of investors rich, but these special interest groups now need to start looking elsewhere.”